NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Private equity firms
Blackstone Inc, EQT AB and THL Partners are competing
against large U.S. industrial automation firms to acquire German
power electronics firm EA Elektro-Automatik, according to people
familiar with the matter.
Emerson Electric Co, Keysight Technologies Inc
and Fortive Corp have also expressed interest
in buying EA Elektro-Automatik, which is owned by mid-market
investment firm Bregal Investments, the sources said, requesting
anonymity as the discussions are confidential.
A deal could value the Viersen, Germany-based company
between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, including debt, the sources
said, cautioning that a deal is not certain.
EA Elektro-Automatik currently generates 12-month earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about
$100 million, the sources said.
The company has been working with a financial advisor to
explore a sale since earlier this year, the sources said, adding
that it received first-round bids in September.
Blackstone and THL declined to comment. Bregal, EA
Elektro-Automatik, EQT, Emerson Keysight and Fortive did not
immediately respond to requests for comment.
Bregal, which was formed in 2002 and is backed by the
billionaire Brenninkmeijer family, has more than 17 billion
euros ($17.79 billion) of assets under management. Bregal, which
acquired EA Elektro-Automatik, has invested in over 85 companies
till date, according to its website.
EA Elektro-Automatik, which currently has a presence in the
Americas, Europe and Asia, supplies equipment that provides
power supply for high-tech manufacturing processes in various
sectors, including automotive, energy storage,
telecommunications and aerospace.
($1 = 0.9556 euros)
(Reporting by Milana Vinn in New York; Editing by Josie Kao)