Bartec Sale Said to Kick Off as Capvis Sends Info to Buyers

Bartec Holding GmbH owners have begun the sale of the German maker of explosion-resistant switching and signaling gear, people familiar with the process said.

Majority owner Capvis Equity Partners AG sent out information to prospective buyers on the asset, which may fetch 540 million euros ($680 million) to 600 million euros, said the people, who declined to be identified as the information is private. That would value Bartec at about 10 times predicted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. First-round bids are due June 11, one of the people said.

The market for electrical equipment has been in flux since ABB Ltd. bought Thomas & Betts Corp. for $3.9 billion in January and Eaton Corp. announced the purchase of Cooper Industries Plc for $11.8 billion on May 21. Possible suitors for Bartec include ABB, Hubbell Inc., Ametek Inc., Siemens AG and General Electric Co. as well as buyout companies, the people said.

Commerzbank AG and William Blair are managing the sale of Bartec, which Capvis purchased in 2008 from Allianz Capital Partners. Eaton’s purchase valued Cooper at 14 times Ebitda. A similar valuation would give Bartec an enterprise value of as much as 840 million euros, based on predicted Ebitda for this year.

Bartec’s products, including enclosures and controls made of stainless steel and gas detection systems, are used by the chemical and oil and gas industries. The manufacturer, based in Bad Mergentheim in Germany, had sales of about 300 million euros in the fiscal year ending April 30, spokeswoman Daniela Deubel said. Deubel declined to comment on the sale.

The sale of Bartec comes amid several industrial assets being auctioned by their private equity owners.

IK Investment Partners, a European buyout firm with Nordic roots, is preparing the sale of Schenck Process GmbH, a German provider of industrial weighing, feeding, screening and automation equipment, the people said. Morgan Stanley, which was hired to run the sale, is in the process of sending out information to potential buyers, they said. Several of the firms looking at Bartec will also look at Schenck and decide which asset to pursue, one of the people said.

A spokesman for IK Investment Partners couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

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