Yankee Candle's owners explore sale, hire banks: sources

NEW YORK Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:31pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yankee Candle Co Inc MDPRTC.UL, the largest scented candle company in the United States, is being prepared for a sale by its private equity owner, three people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The company, which was acquired by Chicago-based buyout firm Madison Dearborn Partners for $1.6 billion in 2006, is working with Barclays (BARC.L) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) on a sale process that is still in the early stages, the people said.

The people asked not to be named because the process is not public. Representatives of Barclays and Bank of America declined to comment. Madison Dearborn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Yankee Candle, which is based in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $201.1 million and revenue of $844.2 million in 2012.

Founded in 1969, Yankee Candle sells items like scented candles, home fragrance products, car fresheners and candle accessories. The company sells its candles through 500 company-owned retail stores as well as online and through its catalog.

A potential sale of Yankee Candle comes as a wave of private equity firms, who made investments during the 2005 to 2007 buyout boom years, are trying to monetize assets either by selling or taking them public.

Technology products retailer CDW, which was taken private by Madison Dearborn and Providence Equity Partners for $7.3 billion in 2007, has hired banks for an initial public offering later this year, Reuters reported last week.

Industrial supply company HD Supply, which was taken private by Bain Capital, Carlyle Group LP (CG.O) and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for $8.5 billion following a spinoff by Home Depot Inc (HD.N), is also speaking with bankers this week about an initial public offering, sources previously told Reuters.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran and Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Bob Burgdorfer)

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