CORRECTED-Swiss vacuum technology group VAT put up for sale
(Corrects fourth paragraph to show company is Bain Capital, not Bain & Company)
FRANKFURT Aug 13 (Reuters) - Swiss vacuum technology company VAT Vacuum Valves AG has been put up for sale in a deal that could fetch its family owners as much as 400 million euros ($532 million).
VAT's Chairman Richard Fischer said he has engaged Credit Suisse to seek a private equity buyer for the company, which makes vacuum valves used in the semiconductor and flat screen industry, as well as in the coating of glass and tools.
The bank has also approached competitors, people familiar with the deal said. Its rivals range from U.S.-based Edwards , Switzerland's Oerlikon, Germany's Pfeiffer Vacuum to Japan's Kashiyama.
Buyout firms, including Advent International, Bain Capital, Montagu Private Equity, Capvis and Gilde, have been approached. The industry has been starved of so-called 'primary deals', which are attractive because they offer greater scope for restructuring, and therefore, returns.
Two thirds of European private equity activity this year has involved one buyout house selling a company it owns to another - recycling deals to scoop fees.
VAT, which was founded by Siegfried Schertler in 1964, employs 900 staff and has annual sales of more than $300 million. It moved into the semiconductor market when Fischer took over in 1984. It does not disclose any earnings figures.
Fischer declined to give the reason for the sale. Credit Suisse declined to comment. ($1 = 0.7523 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by Louise Heavens and Tom Pfeiffer)
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