April 13, 2017 / 6:59 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-Private equity firms bid $22 bln for SCA's hygiene business -newspaper

* Private equity firms reported to bid $22 bln for SCA hygiene arm

* SCA shares jump as much as 9.8 pct

* SCA declines to comment (Adds detail, shares, valuation)

STOCKHOLM, April 13 (Reuters) - A group of private equity companies have bid around 200 billion Swedish crowns ($22.3 billion) for the hygiene arm of tissue and forestry products firm SCA, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter said, citing unnamed sources.

Sweden’s SCA last week formally approved a proposal to split into two listed units, a hygiene products firm, called Essity, and a forestry company carrying the SCA name.

SCA has said it aims to list Essity as soon as possible, and during the second half of 2017 at the latest.

“At least two private equity companies together have bid around 200 billion crowns for the hygiene unit,” Dagens Nyheter said in a report that first appeared on its website on Wednesday night. The newspaper did not name the private equity firms.

Dagens Nyheter said the bid had been made a few weeks ago.

The firm, which counts U.S. firms Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark among its main rivals, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Thursday.

SCA shares rose as much as 9.8 percent in early trading on Thursday, and was up 7.2 percent by 0814 GMT, making it the top performer in the STOXX Europe 600 index.

UBS in a note this week gave Essity an implied equity value of 154-173 billion crowns based on 702 million outstanding shares.

The group had an overall market value of 194 billion crowns at market close on Wednesday.

SCA’s hygiene business is the world’s largest maker of incontinence pads and the second largest in consumer tissues such as napkins and toilet paper. Its forestry arm produces paper, pulp and wood products.

Last year, SCA’s hygiene business accounted for 86 percent of the group’s total sales. ($1 = 8.9859 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Simon Johnson and Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Mark Bendeich and Jason Neely)

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