March 5, 2008 / 7:45 PM / 12 years ago

Evonik sale starts with 10 possible bidders -paper

FRANKFURT, March 5 (Reuters) - Investment banks Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) have kicked off the sale of a minority stake in German conglomerate Evonik [RUHR.UL] by sending information packages to 10 possible bidders, a German newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The 25 percent stake on offer is expected to fetch at least 2 billion euros ($3.04 billion), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper said, citing financial sources for the report in its Thursday edition made available on its Internet site.

Evonik, formerly known as RAG, has interests in energy chemicals and real estate.

The paper listed private equity firms Bain Capital, Blackstone Group (BX.N), KKR [KKR.UL], Carlyle [CYL.UL], Cerberus [CBS.UL], BC Partners, CVC, Permira [PERM.UL] and TPG [TPG.UL] as among those interested in the stake.

It said state funds such as Dubai International Capital were also interested but had not been allowed into the bidding.

Evonik declined to comment on the newspaper’s report.

The foundation that owns the company repeated as recently as last month that it was continuing to prepare for a stock flotation.

It has previously said that it hoped the sale of Evonik in stages would raise up to 6.9 billion euros by 2018, which would be used to cover the long-term environmental and other costs linked to the mining operations of the company’s predecessor.

U.S. investor Blackstone last week said it could be interested in taking a stake in Evonik if it could be assured of gaining a clear influence over the company’s management. ($1=.6586 Euro) (Reporting by Jonathan Gould, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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