LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Banks are preparing leveraged loans to back the roughly $1 billion buyout of German auto supplier ZF's Body Control Systems unit, banking sources told LPC on Thursday.
The lenders are putting together financing packages of around $775 million, equating to 5 times Body Controls' roughly $155 million in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, they said.
Confirmatory bids are due just before Easter, sources close to the matter told Reuters, adding that some Chinese groups as well as buyout firms such as Bain Capital are expected to hand in offers.
A spokesman for ZF referred to comments made by Chief Executive Stefan Sommer last week, where he said he expected ZF's Body Controls unit to be sold this year, and that at this stage of the sales process the level of interest in the asset was high.
Some other initial bidders such as India's Motherson and China's FountainVest are expected to steer clear of further participating in the auction, the sources added to Reuters.
The companies declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.
ZF last year launched the sale of its Body Control division as it seeks to shed assets it no longer deems essential after its takeover of rival TRW.
The unit makes electronic parts for the vehicle command and control such as switches, heating and air conditioning controls and displays, integrated electronic centre panels and modular steering column controls.
Reporting by Claire Ruckin and Arno Schuetze, additional reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Toby Davis