Goldman and Bain among bidders for events company PSAV -sources

Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:57pm EDT

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Bain Capital LLC, Crestview Partners LP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc's private equity arm are among the firms preparing to submit final bids for events services company PSAV Presentation Services, three people familiar with the matter said this week.

Kelso & Co, the private equity firm that acquired PSAV for $413.4 million in 2007, is hoping to fetch as much as $1 billion for the company, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential.

Representatives of PSAV, Kelso, Bain, Crestview and Goldman Sachs did not respond to requests for comment.

PSAV is the largest provider of audiovisual services to the U.S. hotel industry and helps coordinate events and meetings using high-definition projectors and plasma screens.

The Long Beach, California-based company has earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of between $130 million and $140 million and could be sold for between $900 million and $1 billion, people have previously told Reuters.

PSAV strengthened its position in the niche market for audio visual services for the hotel industry last year by acquiring competitor Swank Holdings Inc for $270 million, equivalent to eight times Swank's EBITDA, according to a credit research note at the time by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Inc.

With the acquisition, PSAV increased its market share from 27 percent to 45 percent, according to Standard & Poor's.

A deal for Goldman, should it prevail, would come after it changed the way it invests in private equity to comply with the so-called Volcker rule that is expected to limit investment bank investments in illiquid asset classes.

In a bid to pool money for deals without raising a private equity fund, the Wall Street bank has been underwriting the equity in deals and then lining up clients who are willing to put money into accounts set up to invest in them, people familiar with the matter said earlier this year.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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