May 30, 2017 / 8:00 PM / a year ago

Leonard Green explores sale of USIC: sources

(Reuters) - Buyout firm Leonard Green & Partners is exploring the sale of USIC LLC, a U.S. company that locates and maintains the underground cables of utilities, seeking a valuation of close to $2 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed increase in infrastructure spending is expected to boost USIC’s business because utility cables have to be located and marked before any underground excavation is carried out.

Leonard Green has hired an investment bank to run an auction for USIC, the sources said on Monday. USIC has 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of around $150 million, the sources said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. USIC and Leonard Green did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

USIC is the largest underground telecommunications, power and water utility line locating and damage prevention company in North America. It employs more than 7,500 technicians.

The Indianapolis, Indiana-based company was formed in 2008 when private equity firm Kohlberg & Co acquired and merged two companies active in the underground locating and marking service sector, SM&P Utility Resources Inc and Central Locating Service Ltd.

In 2010, Kohlberg sold USIC to the private equity arm of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), one of Canada’s largest pension plans, for an undisclosed amount. Leonard Green, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, acquired USIC from OMERS in 2013 for $740 million, including debt.

(This version of the story removes erroneous reference to Goldman Sachs as adviser in paragraph 3)

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Richard Chang and Bill Trott

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