NEW YORK Feb 26 Private equity firms KKR & Co
, First Reserve Corp and Ares Management are preparing
final bids for Utex Industries, a U.S. manufacturer of sealing
products and services used for oil and gas drilling, according
to two sources familiar with the matter.
Bids for Utex, which is owned by New York-based private
equity firm Rhone Capital, are due this week, the sources said.
They said other parties may also bid on the company.
Sources have said Utex could bring in bids in the $700
million to $800 million range.
First Reserve declined to comment on the matter. KKR, Ares
and Utex did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Reuters reported last month that Rhone had put the company
on the block.
Founded in 1940 and based in Houston, Texas, Utex makes
products used for oil drilling, as well as water management and
mining, according to its website.
Rhone Capital, an investment arm of Rhone Group LLC,
specializes in middle market leveraged buyouts,
recapitalizations and partnership financings.