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BC Said to Weigh Sale of German Power Transformer Maker SGB

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- BC Partners Ltd., the British buyout firm that owns the gym club operator Fitness First Ltd., is considering a sale of the German power transformer maker SGB-SMIT Group after receiving approaches, three people with knowledge of the talks said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is helping the buyout firm assess options for the Regensburg-based company, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. No decision regarding the process has been made, they said.

A sale could attract interest from strategic bidders such as ABB Ltd. of Switzerland and Toshiba Corp. of Japan, as well as other private equity firms, two of the people said. The company may fetch between 800 million euros ($1 billion) and 1 billion euros, the people said.

BC Partners, which is raising a 6.5 billion euro buyout fund, bought SGB for an undisclosed amount in 2008, financing the acquisition mainly with its own cash, according to the company’s website. The seller at the time, turnaround specialist HCP Capital Group GmbH, had bought the company from the German utility RWE AG in 2004.

SGB, which makes oil distribution transformers as well as compact transformer stations, had revenue of about 580 million euros in 2010 and forecast a 5 percent decline for last year, followed by an increase this year, according to a company filing on Feb. 8. The company swung to a 13.1 million euro profit in 2010 from a loss in 2009. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are about 120 million euros, one of the people said.

Spokesmen for BC Partners, SGB, Goldman Sachs and ABB declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Toshiba was not immediately available for comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anne-Sylvaine Chassany in London at achassany@bloomberg.net; Aaron Kirchfeld in Frankfurt at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net

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