* Blackstone, Carlyle met Goodpack this week for early talks - sources
* Goodpack stock up 12.3 pct for the year in Singapore (Adds Goodpack share price, other potential suitors)
By Stephen Aldred
HONG KONG, April 3 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group are considering a bid for Singapore’s Goodpack Ltd, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, eyeing the container maker a few weeks after its takeover talks with Australian pallet maker Brambles ended.
Blackstone and Carlyle had meetings this week with Goodpack, which makes containers used in the rubber, tyre and food industries, people familiar with the matter said. Goodpack’s market value is S$1.23 billion ($974.84 million).
The people said that while the meetings showed the firms’ interest in the company, there is no guarantee a deal will come as a result. Talks are at an early stage, the people said.
Goodpack said on March 19 that it had been in discussions with unnamed parties which might lead to a buyout of its shares, and had hired Rippledot Capital to advise on the process.
The following day, Brambles said it was engaged in talks with Goodpack but that the discussions had ended.
Goodpack’s stock is up 12.31 percent for the year while the benchmark Straits Times Index is up 1.56 percent.
Goodpack specializes in environmentally friendly intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) that could replace wooden boxes and metal drums widely used in bulk cargo today.
Interest in the company comes as private equity M&A had its strongest start to the year since 2011, with first-quarter volume up 48 percent on year to $9.4 billion, Thomson Reuters data shows.
The company previously hired Macquarie as it eyed a possible sale in 2008, and Brambles and packaging company Loscam Ltd were reported as possible suitors at that time. [link.reuters.com/qet28v ]
Goodpack did not respond to requests seeking comment. Blackstone and Carlyle declined to comment. ($1 = 1.2618 Singapore Dollars) (Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Additional reporting by Prakash Chakravarti of IFR/LPC; Editing by Michael Flaherty and Ryan Woo)