General Atlantic picks suitors for lab group Amedes - sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON Tue May 13, 2014 1:29pm EDT

FRANKFURT/LONDON May 13 (Reuters) - Buyout group General Atlantic has chosen bidders to submit final offers for German laboratory services company Amedes by a mid-June deadline, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Private equity firms such as BC Partners, which already owns Amedes peer Synlab, is among the suitors. Advent and Onex Corp are also in the race, the people said.

Amedes rival Sonic Healthcare, as well as investors PAI and CVC, had also shown initial interest, but are not among the final contenders, the sources added.

The seller is hoping to attract bids that value the company's equity and debt at between 600 million euros ($822.4 million) and 700 million, one source familiar with the transaction said.

In information sets handed to potential buyers, Amedes's annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were put at more than 80 million euros, sources said.

Some potential buyers are, however, using their own estimates of an EBITDA of 50 to 60 million euros and are offering to buy Amedes at a valuation of 9 times this figure, sources familiar with the suitors said.

General Atlantic, which bought Amedes in 2007 for an undisclosed sum, declined to comment. Goldman Sachs, which is organising the auction, declined to comment. The potential buyers also declined to comment, except for Onex, which was not immediately available for comment.

Hamburg-based Amedes employs 2,600 at its 35 laboratories and has 150 hospitals as customers.

Bankers are working on debt financing packages or around 500 million euros, banking sources said. ($1 = 0.7296 Euros) (Additional reporting by Alexander Hübner; Editing by David Holmes)

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