Ardagh Said to Draw Bids From BC Partners, Carlyle for Unit

Ardagh Group, the glass and packaging group, has drawn bids from several of the world’s largest private equity firms for its metal-containers unit, people with knowledge of the matter said.

BC Partners, Carlyle Group LP and Onex Corp. are among firms to submit first-round offers for the business, which has been valued at about 2.4 billion euros ($2.65 billion), said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Ardagh previously said it was planning to sell a minority stake in the containers unit to pay down debt or fund acquisitions. Oressa Ltd., which makes steel and aluminum cans for food storage, filed for a U.S. initial public offering in June. It posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization last year of about 300 million euros, three people said.

If the bids for the unit don’t meet the company’s expectations, the company could go ahead with the Oressa IPO, the people said.

Ardagh, which is controlled by financier Paul Coulson, had previously increased its operations in the sector when it bought Dutch-based Impress Holdings from buyout firm Doughty Hanson for 1.7 billion euros in December 2010, according to the company’s website.

Pat Walsh, a spokesman for Ardagh in Dublin, declined to comment, as did a representative for Carlyle. Representatives for BC Partners and Onex didn’t respond to e-mailed requests for comment.

Coulson is looking for ways to cut Ardagh’s debt after borrowing billions of dollars to create one of the world’s biggest packaging companies. The Dublin native powered through 10 acquisitions since taking control in the late 1990s, amassing about 5.5 billion euros of debt in the process, to become the largest glass-container maker in northern Europe and the second-largest in the U.S.

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