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Buyout Firms CVC to Carlyle Said to Weigh Bid for Deoleo

Bottles of Olive Oil Move Along the Carbonell Production Line
Bottles of Spanish olive oil move along the production line at the Carbonell SA plant, operated by Deoleo SA, in Alcolea. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

CVC Capital Partners Ltd., Carlyle Group LP and PAI Partners SAS are among buyout firms considering offers for a majority stake in Spanish food group Deoleo SA, according to people familiar with the matter.

The buyout firms are looking into bids about 50 percent below Deoleo’s share price of 47.5 euro cents, and any deal would depend on refinancing the company’s debt, said the people, asking not to be named because negotiations are private. The firms’ deliberations are at early stages, and food companies also may make non-binding offers, the people said.

Deoleo, whose brands include olive oils Bertolli and Carbonell, hired JPMorgan & Chase Co. in November to help reconfigure the shareholder structure as the Madrid-based company seeks greater long-term financial stability. Shareholders include Bankia SA’s parent company Banco Financiero & de Ahorros SA, CaixaBank SA, Fidelity International Ltd. and Ebro Foods SA, according to Spain’s CNMV stock-market regulator.

Deoleo’s net financial debt was 472 million euros ($639 million) at the end of 2013, down from 527 million euros three months earlier, according to provisional 2013 figures released last month and quarterly figures disclosed in November. Its net cash position was 197 million euros.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 9.4 percent to 80 million euros last year on revenue of 809 million euros, the company said. It predicted profit on that basis to climb more than 20 percent this year.

A spokesman for Deoleo in Madrid declined to comment, as did spokesmen for London-based CVC, Washington-based Carlyle and Paris-based PAI.

Deoleo shares were unchanged at 47.5 euro cents at 10:58 a.m. in Madrid, valuing the company at 548.5 million euros.

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