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Quadriga Said to Seek $585 Million Sale of Austria’s AHT

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Quadriga Capital, a buyout firm that focuses on German-speaking countries, is exploring a sale of Austrian refrigerator maker AHT Cooling Systems GmbH, according to four people familiar with the talks.

The buyout firm may seek at least 450 million euros ($585 million) for AHT, which provides supermarket cooling systems for groceries, ice cream and beverages, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. AHT would probably attract bids from other buyout firms, they said.

Quadriga, which expanded AHT’s business into China, Turkey and the U.K. after buying it in 2006, is considering a sale as private-equity firms tap low borrowing costs and rising equity markets to exit investments made before the financial crisis in 2007. Buyout transactions rose to $94 billion in the first quarter, slightly up from the fourth quarter and the first quarter of 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A spokesman for AHT declined to comment. Representatives for Quadriga didn’t respond to several voicemails seeking comment.

AHT traces its roots to an ironworks in Rottenmann, Austria, in 1442, according to its website. The company conducted an initial public offering in 1998 before being delisted in Vienna five years later.

To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net; Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net

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