Dutch waste management group Attero attracts several Chinese suitors: sources

FRANKFURT/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch waste management group Attero has attracted several Chinese suitors, several people close to the deal said, the latest sign of China’s efforts to buy technology to tackle environmental issues.

Beijing Enterprises 0392.HK, which bought Germany's Energy from Waste (EEW) earlier this year, is using the German company as a vehicle to buy Attero, the people said.

Beijing Capital 600008.SS, which had lost out in the EEW auction, is among the groups preparing bids by a November 21 deadline, along with China Energy Conservation & Environmental Protection Group (CECEP), the people said.

Private equity group Waterland, which owns Attero, is expecting to receive about 5-6 offers before shortlisting some of those for a final round, they said.

Current bids range from 750 million euros ($826.65 million) to 1.05 billion euros, including debt, sources said. They said most fell between the 850 million to 1 billion euro range, or about 8-10 times the company’s estimated 2016 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around 100 million euros.

Waterland bought Attero for 170 million euros in 2013 and decided on a faster-than-planned exit this summer after receiving inquiries from several would-be acquirers following the sale of Germany’s Energy from Waste which generated a lot of interest.

Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad reported last month that Chinese insurer Ping An 2318.HK was also interested. But sources could not confirm if it was in the running.

Attero processes 40 percent of Dutch household waste and describes itself as a leading player in creating energy from waste.

Waterland, Attero, EEW and the Chinese companies declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

China has set a target to spend about $16 billion between 2013 and 2016 to improve sewage disposal and waste treatment.

Attero last year posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 133 million euros on sales of 339 million euros.

($1 = 0.9073 euros)

Reporting by Toby Sterling and Arno Schuetze. Editing by Jane Merriman