March 3 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP is exploring a sale of Zodiac Pool Solutions SAS, hoping a deal will value the U.S. swimming pool and spa equipment maker at more than $800 million, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
A sale would mark the end of one of Carlyle’s longest held investments, which the Washington, D.C. buyout firm managed to hold on to even after Zodiac Pool Solutions was forced to restructure some of its debt two years ago.
Carlyle has hired investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG to run an auction for Zodiac Pool Solutions, the sources said this week, asking not to be identified because the upcoming sale process is confidential.
Zodiac Pool Solutions has annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $85 million, the sources added.
Carlyle, Zodiac and Credit Suisse declined to comment.
Based in Vista, California, Zodiac Pool Solutions has several brands including Zodiac, Polaris, Jandy and others which serve both the consumer and professional markets.
Zodiac Pool Solutions was formed in 2006 when Carlyle and French aerospace company Zodiac Group SA acquired WaterPik Technologies Inc in a $380 million deal. In 2009, Carlyle bought out Zodiac Group’s remaining stake in the company.
Zodiac Pool Solutions filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in 2014. This allowed the company, which has a legacy domicile in France, to restructure some of its debt under U.S. bankruptcy law while Carlyle retained ownership. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Mike Stone in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)
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