Sweden appoints advisers for Vectura sale - source

Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:27am EDT

* Infrastructure specialist posted 2012 sales above $200 mln

* Interest expected from larger peers

* Investors eye possible Nordea Bank share sale

By Sven Nordenstam

STOCKHOLM, March 15 (Reuters) - Sweden's centre-right government has lined up investment bank Carnegie and law firm Vinge as advisers for a sale of state-owned Vectura Consulting, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

Marketing information on the transport infrastructure consultant, which had sales of about 1.3 billion Swedish crowns ($202 million) last year, is expected to be sent to potential buyers in mid-April, the source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly about the process.

Carnegie, Vinge and Swedish Financial Markets Minister Peter Norman declined to comment.

The sale of Vectura begins amid growing speculation that the government, which has pushed a privatisation agenda since it was first elected in 2006, could move to sell some of its much more valuable stake in Nordea Bank.

The speculation has come after Nordea's share price rose above the level at which the government last sold some of its shares in 2011. The government then sold 6.3 percent of Nordea to institutional investors at 74.5 crowns a share to raise 19 billion crowns ($3 billion). The shares stood at 74.95 crowns at 1506 GMT.

Other large privatisation attempts, such as the sale of a stake in telecoms group TeliaSonera and power company Vattenfall, have been blocked by parliament.

Vectura was expected to attract interest from larger industry peers, among them listed Swedish consultancies Sweco and AF, rather than private equity firms, the source said.

Another company in the same field as Vectura is WSP Group, acquired by Canada's Genivar last year.

Based on the valuations of Sweco and AF, the value of Vectura would be more than 500 million crowns.

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