March 5, 2015 / 4:30 PM / 5 years ago

Exclusive: Blackstone seeks sale of AlliedBarton Security Services - sources

(Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) is exploring a sale of AlliedBarton Security Services in a deal that could value the largest U.S. security officer services company at around $1.5 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

Blackstone, a New York-based private equity firm, has hired investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.VX to run an auction for AlliedBarton, the people said on Thursday.

“Management believes that this is the right time to seek new private equity sponsor. We have recently launched that process as it is a critical element of our ongoing growth strategy,” an AlliedBarton spokeswoman said.

Blackstone and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

AlliedBarton has annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $150 million, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

Based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, AlliedBarton has more than 55,000 employees and 120 offices that provide security for corporate clients in several industries, including around 200 Fortune 500 companies, according to AlliedBarton’s website.

Blackstone acquired AlliedBarton from Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc in 2008 for up to $750 million.

Blackstone invested in another security services firm, Vivint Inc, in 2012, paying more than $2 billion for it. It then took its residential solar panel installer unit Vivint Solar Inc (VSLR.N) public last year.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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