Apollo, Carlyle, Bain are among bidders for planned Hitachi Metals sale: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) - Apollo Global Management APO.N, Carlyle Group CG.O, KKR & Co KKR.N and Bain Capital are among potential bidders for Japan's Hitachi Metals Ltd 5486.T, people with knowledge of the matter said, a deal that could fetch more than $6.4 billion.

Reuters previously reported that parent company Hitachi Ltd 6501.T has been planning to sell its 53% stake in the unit, which makes components for cars and industrial equipment, as it streamlines its operations.

Hitachi said on Friday “no formal decision has been made” with regards to the reported sale of Hitachi Metals, adding that the firm was considering “the enhancement of its corporate value”.

Initial bidding will be closed by the end of this month, said one of the sources, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity as the bidding is not public.

Representatives for Carlyle, Bain Capital and KKR all declined to comment. Representatives for Apollo Global Management were not available for comment.

Hitachi Metals shares rose almost 10% on Friday, after the Nikkei business daily initially reported KKR and Bain Capital were among the bidders.

The deal would be the latest by private equity in Japan this year. This week KKR agreed to buy a majority stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu with an e-commerce company Rakuten 4755.T for over $1 billion.

Minority shareholders in the Hitachi unit are expected to sell their stakes to a winning bidder and the company would eventually be delisted, according to the previous Reuters report.

Hitachi Metals has a market value of about 660 billion yen ($6.4 billion) based on Friday’s close. A buyout would likely exceed that, given that a premium would be expected.

Reuters also previously reported Hitachi had retained Goldman Sachs Group GS.N to advise on the sale, while Hitachi Metals has hired Bank of America BAC.N.

Reporting by Junko Fujita, additional reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa