By Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim
NEW YORK Feb 21 Private equity firm KKR & Co LP
has submitted an offer of $75 per share for Gardner
Denver Inc, valuing the industrial machinery maker at
close to $3.7 billion, two people familiar with the matter said
The offer, submitted late on Thursday to meet a 1700 Eastern
Time deadline, puts KKR in the pole position to buy the Wayne,
Pennsylvania-based company, after sources told Reuters that
other private equity bidders have abandoned the process.
KKR is the only private equity firm that has secured
committed financing from banks for making the bid, the people
said. Advent International and the team of TPG Capital and Onex
Corp, which had earlier considered a bid, are no longer
involved, one of the people said.
The people requested anonymity because details of the sale
process are confidential. Gardner Denver and KKR declined to
comment. TPG, Onex and Advent did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.
Gardner Denver shares closed at $67.47 on Thursday, giving
it a market value of just over $3.3 billion.
KKR's $75 per share offer compares to the first-round bids
Gardner Denver had received in the $75 to $80 per share range
from private equity bidders in November, the people said. As
bidders carried out advanced due diligence, they became more
concerned about declining orders at the company, the people
Gardner Denver, which makes compressors, pumps and vacuum
products for industrial uses, decided to explore a sale late
last year following months of pressure from activist investor
ValueAct Capital LLC, which acquired a roughly 5 percent stake.
The company went back to private equity bidders after talks
with industry rival SPX Corp broke down at the end of
last year amid investor skepticism about the logic of such a
merger. SPX was negotiating a deal at $85 per share, a person
familiar with the matter told Reuters at that time.
Bloomberg News reported on KKR's bid earlier on Thursday.