Axa Looks at Selling Spotless

Axa Private Equity is mulling a sale of its cleaning products business The Spotless Group. According to reports, the private equity arm of the insurance giant is hoping to attach a €700m (US$1bn) price tag to the company it has backed since 2005.

Lazard has been hired to run the sales process with a secondary management buyout preferred by Spotless management. There are believed to be 20 private equity firms competing in the first round. Bids are due at the end of the week.

Paris-based Spotless has focused on helping leading home care brands reach new markets in Europe. Under Axa’s ownership it has completed seven acquisitions in less than three years and has projected revenue of €370m in 2008.

In June of this year, Spotless completed the bolt-on acquisition of Dylon International Ltd, a fabric dye and household product business. The asset was sold by the Mayborn Group, a 3i portfolio company since 2006, for an undisclosed sum.

Source: Thomson Merger News