November 15, 2012 / 2:05 AM / 5 years ago

Carlyle, Seven Group hire Goldman for possible sale of Coates Hire

SYDNEY, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The owners of Coates Hire have roped in Goldman Sachs for a possible sale of Australia’s top equipment hire firm after failing to proceed with other options including an A$800 million ($831 million) initial public offer earlier this year.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group and Seven Group Holdings said in a statement that Goldman Sachs will be assisted by China International Capital Corp in China and Nomura Holdings in Japan with the ownership review process.

The two firms own 46 percent each in Coates, which has revenues of A$1.3 billion in the year to June 2012 and had 200 branches across Australia serving engineering, construction, mining and manufacturing industries.

“The strategic review will commence immediately and is expected to take several months to reach a conclusion,” the two firms said in the joint statement.

The move comes amid little sign of revival in appetite for IPO’s in Australia, which has seen several big deals canned this year. The last big IPO was QR National’s $4.6 billion offering in late 2010.

In July, sources told Reuters that Coates hired Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank JPMorgan and Macquarie Group to manage an IPO, which would let the owners raise funds to repay debt and fund growth.

It was not immediately clear if the mandate has been cancelled. Seven group and Carlyle did not specify if they planned to retain a stake at the conclusion of the offer.

Carlyle bought the 46 percent stake in Coates in 2008. Private equity funds typically hold an asset for three to five years, although frozen IPO markets and lack of strategic buyers are forcing them to hold their assets longer.

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