AlixPartners Up for Sale

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is exploring a sale of AlixPartners in a deal that could value the restructuring advisory firm at more than $1 billion, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Efforts to sell AlixPartners are at an advanced stage and a deal is expected in the near future, the people said. Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are advising on the process, they said.

Representatives for Hellman & Friedman, AlixPartners, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch declined to comment.

Southfield, Michigan-based AlixPartners, founded by Jay Alix in 1981, competes in the restructuring and bankruptcy space with specialists such as FTI Consulting and Alvarez and Marsal, as well as the turnaround practices of major consulting firms including McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co.

AlixPartners’ recent high-profile assignments have included advising General Motors Co on its ongoing restructuring of the loss-making European Opel unit.

With some 900 professionals around the world, the firm has also worked on Chapter 11 reorganizations of firms such as Enron, General Growth Properties and Eastman Kodak.

Hellman & Friedman led a leveraged recapitalization of AlixPartners about six years ago, and acquired a majority stake together with the company’s employees.

The San Francisco-based private equity firm did not disclose financial terms at that time, but said the transaction puts the total enterprise value of the firm in excess of $800 million.

According to ratings agency Moody’s, the 2006 leveraged recapitalization transferred an 80 percent equity stake in AlixPartners to a group led by Hellman & Friedman.

The transaction valued AlixPartners at $872 million, and was funded with $296 million of cash equity from the private equity firm, a $385 million term loan, and $218 of rollover equity from the founder and management, according to Moody’s at that time.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim; Editing by David Gregorio)