Carlyle, Seven Group to retain Coates Hire after review

SYDNEY, June 20 Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:18am EDT

SYDNEY, June 20 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Carlyle Group and Seven Group Holdings said on Thursday they plan to retain ownership of Coates Hire Ltd, Australia's top equipment rental firm, following a six-month review of the business.

Carlyle and Seven appointed Goldman Sachs in November to carry out a review of the business for a potential sale after failing to proceed earlier last year with a A$800 million ($831 million) initial public offer.

The pair said the review, assisted by China International Capital Corp in China and Nomura Holdings in Japan, had been completed and they "remain fully committed to the business and continuing to grow" the company.

Carlyle and Seven own 46 percent each in Coates, which had revenues of A$1.3 billion in the year to June 2012 and had 200 branches across Australia serving engineering, construction, mining and manufacturing industries.

Last July, sources told Reuters that Coates hired Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank JPMorgan and Macquarie Group to manage an IPO, which would let the owners raise funds to repay debt and fund growth.

Carlyle bought the 46 percent stake in Coates in 2008. Private equity funds typically hold an asset for three to five years, although frozen IPO markets and lack of strategic buyers are forcing them to hold their assets longer.