Feb 7 The sale of a minority stake in French
veterinary health company Ceva Sante Animale is set to attract
bids from several buyout groups, three people familiar with the
BC Partners, Charterhouse,
Cinven, CVC, Hellman & Friedman and KKR
have shown interest and may submit offers by a
late-February deadline, they added.
Ceva, the ninth-largest animal health group globally with
sales of more than 600 million euros, may be valued in total at
about 1.4 billion-1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion-$2.0 billion)
or 12-13 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortisation of 116 million euros, one of the sources said.
The sources did not specify the size of the stake involved
in the sale. Banking sources said in December that bankers were
preparing leveraged debt financing of up to 700 million euros.
"Ceva is a successful company that is preparing its future,"
a company spokesman said.
Ceva's Chief Executive Marc Prikazsky has said in the past
that the current ownership structure is set to end between
mid-2014 and mid-2015.
Ceva was originally part of Sanofi-Aventis, which
sold it in 1999 to PAI Partners, which in turn sold it in 2003
to Sweden's Industri Kapital.
In 2007, management and employees acquired a majority stake,
and Euromezzanine and Natixis took a minority stake, backed with
433 million euros of loans, according to Thomson Reuters LPC
data. Sagard joined as a minority shareholder in 2010.
Ceva focuses on the research, development, production and
marketing of pharmaceutical products and vaccines for pets,
livestock, pigs and poultry.
Lazard is organising the sale, the sources said.
BC Partners, Charterhouse, Hellman & Friedman and Lazard
declined to comment, while Cinven, CVC and KKR were not
immediately available for comment.