| NEW YORK, July 28
NEW YORK, July 28 Carlyle Group LP is in
advanced talks to acquire Acosta Sales and Marketing, in a deal
that could value the consumer goods marketing agency at close to
$5 billion including debt, a person familiar with the matter
said on Monday.
Carlyle, a Washington, D.C-based buyout firm, is in the
final stages of negotiating the deal with Acosta's current
private equity owner, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, and could
secure an agreement as early as this week, the person said.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks
are confidential. Carlyle, Thomas H. Lee and Acosta declined to
comment. The New York Post reported on the deal earlier on
The buyout talks underscore the unabated willingness of
private equity firms to buy companies from one another as record
stock market prices make most acquisitions of publicly listed
Founded in 1927, Acosta offers marketing services to
manufacturers, suppliers and producers of food-related consumer
packaged goods. It is projected to have fiscal 2014 revenues of
about $1.85 billion, according to Moody's Investors Service Inc.
Thomas H. Lee acquired the Jacksonville, Florida-based
company in 2011 for more than $2 billion from private equity
firm AEA Investors LP.
The latest sale of Acosta would come as private equity is
increasingly targeting companies that are expected to benefit
from a recovery in consumer spending, which accounts for more
than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.
Last month, two other private equity firms, Leonard Green &
Partners LP and CVC Capital Partners Ltd, clinched a deal to
acquire Acosta competitor Advantage Sales & Marketing Inc from
buyout peer Apax Partners LLP for just over $4 billion.
Carlyle was the runner-up in the auction for Advantage Sales
& Marketing, the source said.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Chris