* IPO set for H2 this year -sources
* Grohe seen valued at over 2 bln eur
* Company was source of "locust" controversy in 2004
FRANKFURT, May 13 Investor TPG Capital
and the private equity arm of Credit Suisse are
speeding up preparations to divest Europe's biggest bathroom
equipment maker Grohe, sources said.
They are pursuing a so-called dual track process that may
result in an initial public offering (IPO) or sale to a
competitor or other investor and may take place in the third or
fourth quarter, two people familiar with the transaction said.
Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley
are set to be mandated shortly as organisers of the
flotation or sale, they said, adding Deutsche Bank,
and UBS have also secured roles in the potential deal.
Grohe, its owners and the banks declined to comment.
Grohe, which last year posted sales of 1.4 billion euros
($1.8 billion) and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 273 million euros in
2012, has an estimated global market share of about 8 percent.
It is likely to have an equity value of more than 2 billion
euros in a flotation, industry sources said.
Peer Geberit has an enterprise value - equity
value plus debt - of more than 14 times its projected EBITDA. At
the same multiple, Grohe would be worth at least 3.8 billion
TPG and Credit Suisse bought Grohe for 1.5 billion euros in
2004 from peer BC Partners, backed with 1.45 billion
in debt, most of which was loaded onto Grohe, sparking
controversy about private equity investors in Germany.
The head of the Social Democratic Party at the time dubbed
private equity firms "locusts" that sucked the life out of
targets before letting them go bust and moving on.
In a move to shift production to low-wage countries, TPG and
Credit Suisse initiated job cuts at Grohe but carried out many
fewer than the 3,000 redundancies originally planned, and kept
the research and development divisions in Germany.
Grohe employs 9,000 staff, including 3,400 at newly acquired
If free float market capitalisation after an IPO exceeded 1
billion euros, Grohe could qualify for Germany's mid cap index
, where it was listed before BC Partners took it private
Grohe was founded in 1936 by Friedrich Grohe, the son of
Hans Grohe, who 35 years earlier founded a company that is today
called Hansgrohe and is one of Grohe's biggest competitors in