KKR, First Reserve, Ares prepare final Utex bids -sources

NEW YORK Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:40pm EST

NEW YORK Feb 26 (Reuters) - Private equity firms KKR & Co , First Reserve Corp and Ares Management are preparing final bids for Utex Industries, a U.S. manufacturer of sealing products and services used for oil and gas drilling, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Bids for Utex, which is owned by New York-based private equity firm Rhone Capital, are due this week, the sources said. They said other parties may also bid on the company.

Sources have said Utex could bring in bids in the $700 million to $800 million range.

First Reserve declined to comment on the matter. KKR, Ares and Utex did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

Reuters reported last month that Rhone had put the company on the block.

Founded in 1940 and based in Houston, Texas, Utex makes products used for oil drilling, as well as water management and mining, according to its website.

Rhone Capital, an investment arm of Rhone Group LLC, specializes in middle market leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and partnership financings.