LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) - The sale of Austrian refrigeration manufacturer AHT Cooling, owned by Quadriga Capital, has attracted interest from a clutch of bidders, with private equity firms Bridgepoint and EQT having made it through to the second round, banking sources said.
Quadriga acquired AHT in 2007 backed with 225 million euros ($296.85 million) of debt, according to Thomson Reuters LPC.
It now wants to sell the company, which has a price tag of around 500 million euros ($659.67 million), and has hired Macquarie and William Blair as advisers.
Private equity firms Bridgepoint, EQT and Ontario Teachers are among the handful of potential buyers that have made it through to the second round of an auction process in mid-August after first round bids were submitted in mid-July. Trade buyers have also expressed an interest in the company, bankers said.
Other private equity firms that have been close to the process include IK Investment Partners and TPG, bankers added.
All of the potential private equity buyers either declined to comment or were not immediately available to comment. Quadriga was not immediately available to comment.
“A couple of companies have expressed interest in buying AHT Cooling Systems,” AHT’s Chief Executive Hans Aage Joergensen recently told Reuters.
Bankers are arranging debt packages of around 350 million euros that will include a mixture of senior leveraged loans and subordinated debt, to be offered to potential buyers to help fund a buyout, bankers said.
Rottenmann-headquartered AHT traces its roots back to a 15th century iron manufacturer and specialises in commercial retail refrigeration units for supermarkets.
The company, which was listed on the Austrian stock exchange from 1998 to 2003, posted sales of 292 million euros in 2012 and employs 1100 people, according to the company. AHT’s CEO said the company is profitable, declining to be more specific.