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(Reuters) - Buyout firm KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) of Gardner Denver Inc that could value the U.S. industrial machinery maker at between $6 billion and $7 billion including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
Gardner Denver's IPO would underscore the company's recovery after energy prices edged up slightly last year. A plunge in oil and other commodity prices had hit its sales by reducing demand and capital expenditures by its energy and industrial customers.
Gardner Denver may register its IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as early as next week, the people said on Friday. The IPO could then come later this year, the people added.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. KKR declined to comment, while Gardner Denver did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Founded in 1859, Gardner Denver manufactures industrial compressors, blowers, pumps, loading arms and fuel systems used in the energy, general industrial and medical sectors.
KKR took the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company private in 2013 for $3.9 billion.
In the aftermath of a slump in energy prices in 2014, Gardner Denver took proactive restructuring actions to counterbalance some of the downward pressure on earnings, according to credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service Inc.
A successful IPO would represent the latest successful investment of KKR's industrials team, following the private equity firm's sales of fall protection and rescue equipment maker Capital Safety and drug capsule manufacturer Capsugel. KKR scored a profit of around $4.25 billion on these two deals.
Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis