LONDON Private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC (CD&R) is the frontrunner among four bidders for Germany-based, but Dubai-owned, packaging group Mauser, Britain's Sky News reported on its website on Saturday, without citing its sources.
People familiar with the auction told Reuters earlier this month that the private equity arm of Dubai Holding had asked buyout groups to submit binding bids for Mauser, after putting on hold a larger auction which comprised two additional assets.
If it goes ahead, the sale of Mauser by Dubai International Capital (DIC) would be one of the largest asset disposals by the emirate since its debt crisis in 2009.
The suitors are likely to value Mauser, which makes packaging equipment such as cans and drums for transporting medical waste, at about 7 times its expected operating earnings of roughly 150 million euros, or 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion), sources said.
The figure would be in line with the valuation of U.S. peer Greif (GEF.N), which trades at a multiple of 6.8 times and is not bidding for Mauser.
Officials at Mauser and CD&R could not immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger and Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt; Editing by Mark Potter)