April 17, 2018 / 3:32 PM / 8 months ago

Owner of German home shopping channel HSE24 seen favouring sale over IPO - sources

FRANKFURT, April 17 (Reuters) - Buyout group Providence is moving ahead with plans to sell German home shopping TV network HSE24 and has selected Apax, BC Partners and Pamplona as second-round bidders, several people close to matter said.

The suitors will get management presentations next week with a view to getting ready for final bids in a few weeks for the asset, which is expected to fetch more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.85 billion), they said.

The simultaneous preparations for a pre-summer flotation of HSE24 on the Frankfurt stock exchange are currently taking a back seat, but may be revived if final bids come in below the seller’s expectations, they added.

Providence and the bidders declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

Bankers are working on debt financings of almost 1 billion euros to back the potential sale - or of around 6.25 times HSE24’s expected 2018 Ebitda of 140 million euros, including undrawn facilities.

Founded in 1995, HSE24 competes with companies such as QVC, part of John Malone’s Liberty Interactive, which has been an active consolidator in the sector.

An 85 percent stake in HSE - which markets more than 20,000 different products to customers each year in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Russia and in 2016 posted sales of 754 million euros - was sold to Providence for 650 million euros in 2012. ($1 = 0.8103 euros) (Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva and Arno Schuetze; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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