UPDATE 1-Credit Suisse hired to sell Viko for up to $1bln-sources

Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:48pm EDT

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By Sophie Sassard and Seda Sezer

LONDON/ISTANBUL, March 15 (Reuters) - Family-owned Turkish electric appliances maker Viko has hired Credit Suisse to sell it in a deal likely to be worth between $500 million and $1 billion, three people familiar with the matter said.

Viko's founders have decided to sell after being approached by prospective buyers. They want to exit the business because they haven't been able to find a successor within the family to take it on, the people said.

They are hoping to fetch about $800 million based on a valuation of 14 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), which is currently around $60 million, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private.

Sector players such as France's Schneider Electric and Legrand, Switzerland's ABB, U.S. rivals Eaton and Hubbell and private equity firm KKR are expected to show interest in Viko, the people said.

This is because Viko, whose products range from socket outlets to building automation systems, has strong cash flows and exposure to Turkey's growing economy, they added.

Viko and ABB could not be reached for immediate comment.

Credit Suisse, Legrand and Schneider declined to comment.

Bankers advising companies on merger and acquisition strategies say mid-size deals involving privately-owned firms are likely to represent a bigger share of dealmaking in 2013.

In Germany in particular, small-to-medium size companies known as Mittelstand are likely to appeal to larger industrials rivals, including Chinese and Japanese companies, bankers said.

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