LONDON Feb 6 Bankers are preparing debt
packages to finance the potential sales of French natural
ingredients producer Diana Ingredients and Spanish food group
Deoleo, banking sources said on Thursday.
The companies are expected to attract a lot of attention
from private equity and trade buyers, eager to do deals
following a dearth of acquisitions business in 2013.
Ardian, formerly Axa Private Equity, bought Diana in 2007
backed with 517.9 million euros, about $700 million, of
leveraged loans, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.
Last year JP Morgan and Lazard were hired to manage a sale
of the company for about 1.2 billion euros, the sources said.
First round bids in an auction process are expected to be
submitted at the end of February, they said.
Bankers familiar with Diana's business were given
information at the end of January to enable them to put together
packages to pitch for the business, the sources said.
The debt, likely to total about 700 million euros - 7 times
core earnings of 100 million, could be in senior leveraged loans
and subordinated debt, denominated in euros and dollars.
"All options are being considered for debt packages on
Diana. It is proving to be a popular credit and a lot of banks
are looking at it," one of the sources said.
Diana produces and sells natural ingredients used in the pet
food, human food and beverages and pharmaceutical industries. It
employs 1,640 people and operates in 23 countries, according to
Bankers are also working on debt packages to back a
potential sale of Deoleo, in a sales process also run by JP
Morgan, the sources said.
The food group, which includes a number of olive oil brands
including Bertolli and Carbonell, is quoted on the Spanish stock
market and shareholders include Spanish banks.
First round bids are likely to be submitted in the coming
weeks, the sources said.
Bankers are considering debt packages of around 560 million
euros - or 6.25 times Deoleo's approximate 90 million core
earnings, denominated in euros and dollars, the sources said.
($1 = 0.7353 euros)
(Editing by Louise Ireland)