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3i Offers to Buy Scandlines Stake as Plans to Refinance Loans

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- 3i Group Plc is offering to buy Allianz Capital Partners GmbH’s stake in Scandlines as the Danish-German ferry operator seeks to refinance about 800 million euros ($1.06 billion) of loans.

The two private-equity owners of Scandlines are in talks on the buyout after receiving other bids for the company and are jointly working on the refinancing plan, they said in an e-mailed statement. 3i and Allianz Capital each hold 49 percent of the business, according to the 2012 annual report of Scandferries Group, the holding company of Scandlines.

“From our perspective 3i is a logical buyer as they know the business well and this transaction will allow management to continue working with a trusted and well-known partner,” Joerg Spanier, managing director at Allianz Capital, said in the statement.

3i’s offer follows an attempted sale of the business earlier this year that attracted lower than expected bids, people with knowledge of the process said at the time. The owners’ loan refinancing plan is based on raising debt equivalent to between 4.5 times and 5 times the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, people familiar with the debt talks said this month.

The two private-equity investors, along with shipping company Deutsche Seereederei GmbH, bought the firm for 1.56 billion euros in 2007 from Deutsche Bahn AG and the Danish government. 3i and Allianz Capital acquired Deutsche Seereederei’s stake in 2010.

Scandlines, based in Copenhagen and Rostock, generated 212 million euros of Ebitda in 2012, Scandferries reported. The ship operator had 807 million euros of bank loans due to repay in August 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Kuo in London at pkuo2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Faris Khan at fkhan33@bloomberg.net

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