FRANKFURT Buyout group IK Investment Partners has launched the sale of German measuring technology group Schenck Process, a potential 800-900 million euro deal, people close to the matter said.
Several rival private equity groups are preparing to submit offers for the company next month, the sources said.
They also said that bankers were working on debt financing of about 500 million euros ($545 million), equating to 5.5 times Schenck's expected 2017 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 85 million euros, including undrawn facilities. Potential buyers would have access to this financing.
IK declined to comment.
The private equity group, which acquired Schenck at the height of the buyout boom in 2007 from rival HgCapital for 450 million euros, is hoping to achieve a valuation of around 10 times Schenck's core earnings, the sources said.
After unsuccessful attempts to sell Schenck over the last couple of years, IK is now working with investment bank Lazard (LAZ.N), which is advising the sale. Information packages have been sent to prospective bidders in recent weeks.
Other private equity groups including Blackstone (BX.N), KKR (KKR.N), Pamplona and Triton are considering making a bid, the sources said. They also said that IK also hoped to kindle interest from strategic bidders such as Metso (METSO.HE) and Sandvik (SAND.ST).
Schenck, a former unit of German automotive supplier Duerr AG (DUEG.DE), makes factory gear to weigh, filter or dose substances, catering to industries such as mining, construction, chemicals and food processing. It expects to report sales of 550 million euros this year.
Since the IK's acquisition of Schenck, which has its roots in a 19th century maker of cranes and scales, it has bought six smaller rivals.
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Claire Ruckin. Editing by Jane Merriman)