PARIS (Reuters) - Buyout firm Apollo Global Management has won the bidding for Saint-Gobain’s Verallia glass bottle making unit, a source familiar with the situation said.
Le Figaro newspaper earlier said the deal had been sealed with a 2.95 billion euro ($3.27 billion) offer, and that the deal would be made official soon.
A spokeswoman for building materials group Saint-Gobain declined to comment beyond saying the sale process was ongoing.
Saint-Gobain Chief Executive Pierre-Andre de Chalendar said last week the group had received five firm offers, all with financing in place.
Le Figaro said the Saint-Gobain board had approved the sale on Saturday, but that Apollo had faced strong last-minute competition from the Portuguese industrial group Ba Vidro.
Having sold the North American part of Verallia in April last year, Saint-Gobain put the remains of Verallia up for sale in October, at the same time as it announced plans to buy control of Swiss chemicals firm Sika.
Apollo, which has a number of other interests in France, could become a partner with Bpifrance, a French government sovereign wealth fund.
Earlier this month, a source familiar with the matter said Bpifrance may take a stake of between 10 and 30 percent in the business, which has revenue of about 2.4 billion euros a year. Some 2,200 of Verallia’s 10,000 employees are in France.
In February, after employees of the company asked the government to intervene, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told parliament that the government would stand by them, press reports said at the time.
Blackstone, CVC Capital Partners and Ardian were also in the running to buy Verallia, according to media reports last week.
Reporting by Andrew Callus in Paris and Freya Berry in London, editing by David Evans