21 Centrale Buying Arjowiggins

LONDON (Reuters) – French private equity firm 21 Centrale Partners is expected to buy French paper manufacturer Arjowiggins’ security unit after being granted exclusivity on the sale, banking sources said on Thursday.

The deal is one of the only private equity auctions making progress in an otherwise silent leveraged loan market.

A group of around 10 banks are understood to be looking at financing structures for the deal, which has an enterprise value of 350 million euros ($440.4 million), they added.

Groups led by private equity firms Bridgepoint, Chequers Capital and 21 Centrale Partners were bidding for the business in December. [ID:nLJ684573].

The security unit of banknote-to-fine-coated paper Arjowiggins, which makes paper for banknotes, biometric passports, and cheque books, generated EBITDA of around 40 million euros in 2007, the sources added.

No one from Arjowiggins was immediately available for comment. ($1=.7946 Euro) (Reporting by Alasdair Reilly; editing by Simon Jessop)