| NEW YORK, April 24
NEW YORK, April 24 Neovia Logistics LLC, a
logistics services provider backed by industrial equipment
conglomerate Caterpillar Inc, is exploring a sale that
could value the company at more than $1 billion, according to
people familiar with the matter.
Neovia has enlisted investment bank UBS AG to run
an auction for the company and is preparing to contact potential
buyers, the people said, asking not to be named because the
matter is not public.
A sale of Neovia would come just two years after private
equity firm Platinum Equity LLC acquired a 65 percent stake in
the company from Caterpillar, leaving the industrial
conglomerate with a 35 percent interest.
Platinum said at the time the overall transaction was worth
about $750 million. Macquarie Group Ltd, which financed
the deal, said on its website at the time that it represented
the largest global logistics deal since 2008.
Representatives for Neovia, Platinum Equity, Caterpillar and
UBS did not respond to requests for comment.
Neovia runs a third-party logistics business that helps
companies cut their distribution costs in sectors ranging from
automotive and mining to electronics and healthcare. The
Downers Grove, Illinois-based company has more than 90
facilities in 25 countries, according to Platinum Equity's
Platinum Equity has lost no time taking cash out of the
company since taking it over in August 2012, adding $125 million
to its debt pile in February 2013 to fund a dividend.
Moody's Investors Service Inc said at the time it viewed the
planned debt-funded dividend as "an aggressive shareholder
return initiative that removes capital from the company that
could otherwise be used for growth or protection against a
potential business downturn."
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim in New York;
Editing by Bernard Orr)