Blackstone nears deal for CVC's Mivisa: sources

LONDON Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:15pm EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Blackstone Group (BX.N), the U.S. private equity firm, is nearing a deal to buy Mivisa MIVIS.UL after making the only binding offer for the Spanish maker of food cans, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

But Mivisa's current owner, Blackstone's European rival CVC CVC.UL, could still reject the offer, which two people said was closer to 900 million euros ($1.2 billion) than the 1 to 1.2 billion that CVC originally sought.

CVC, which has owned the Murcia-based company since 2005, kickstarted the auction in September.

In October Dow Jones reported rival private equity firm Apollo Management APOLO.UL and U.S. companies Ball Corp (BLL.N) and Silgan Holdings Inc (SLGN.O) were also interested in buying Mivisa.

But the auction coincided with a European debt crisis that has sent risk premiums on Spanish bonds to euro-era records, and sparked a near 15 percent plunge in Spanish stocks last month.

On Friday Spain kicked off an 83 billion euro five-year plan to make its flagging industries more competitive.

Blackstone declined to comment. CVC and Mivisa did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Additional reporting by Victoria Howley in London and Andres Gonzalez in Madrid, with Natalie Harrison of IFR; Editing by David Holmes)

($1=.7551 Euro)

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