RLPC-Bankers line up 1 bln euros of debt for Minimax sale

LONDON Tue May 27, 2014 11:56am EDT

LONDON May 27 (Reuters) - Bankers are lining up debt financing packages of around 1 billion euros ($1.37 billion) to back a potential sale of a majority stake in Germany-based fire extinguisher maker Minimax Viking, banking sources said on Tuesday.

IK Investment Partners acquired Minimax in 2006 from Investcorp backed with 530 million euros of loans. The business has grown considerably since a 2007 acquisition of Consolidated Fire Protection in the US and a merger with US rival Viking in 2009.

IK Investment Partners has now decided to sell its majority stake in Minimax, via an auction process that is attracting a number of private equity firms. A sale could value the whole business at around 1.3 billion euros.

Bids were due last Friday and CVC, Cinven, CD&R, Blackstone, Apollo and Onex are expected to have bid, one of the sources said. The buyout firms were not immediately available to comment.

Bankers are lining up debt financing packages of around 6.5-7 times Minimax's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of approximately 130 million euros, the banking sources said. The debt will back an acquisition of the majority stake and refinance existing debt.

Debt is expected to be in the form of leveraged loans or high yield bonds denominated in euros and dollars, the banking sources said.

Minimax's management and the Viking family are shareholders in the business which is one of the world's largest fire equipment suppliers. Both are expected to keep their stakes, the banking sources said.

IK Investment Partners declined to comment and Minimax was not immediately available to comment.

In 2013, Minimax conducted an 800 million euro dividend recapitalisation, a process whereby debt in the company is refinanced and increased to allow owners to take a dividend, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data. ($1 = 0.7325 Euros) (Editing by Christopher Mangham)

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