KKR wins battle for forensic science firm LGC

LONDON (Reuters) - KKR has won the auction to buy UK forensic sciences group LGC from Bridgepoint, the private equity firm said on Tuesday, after fighting off competition from three other sponsors that also submitted second round bids.

The sale, which was expected to fetch more than 650 million pounds, has been hotly anticipated by banks which have been lining up debt financings.

KKR fought off bids from rivals EQT, Carlyle Group and CVC. The sale also attracted interest from trade buyers.

The investment in LGC will be made primarily by the KKR European Fund IV. The private equity firm plans to expand the business globally, particularly in the US and Asia.

JP Morgan and HSBC acted as M&A advisers.

Leverage on the financing packages that were being discussed to back LGC’s sale stood around 6.5-6.75 times Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA), bankers said previously.

The company is viewed as a strong credit and second lien financing and a uni-tranche loan were also discussed with bidders.

Bridgepoint Partners bought LGC in 2010 from LGV Capital for 257 million pounds.

LGC provides a range of measurement products and services which underpin the safety, health and security of the public, including reference materials and proficiency testing, genomics reagents, instrumentation and services, and expert sample analysis and interpretation.

Editing by Tessa Walsh