Bidders Reconsider Offers for Sport Group

IK Investment Partners‘ sale of German outdoor sport surface maker Sport Group is in limbo as private equity firms reconsider bids for the company, Reuters reported Wednesday. Bankers are concerned that Sport Group’s earnings could drop as the company is exposed to falling public spending, Reuters wrote. EQT, Nordic Capital and PAI Partners have been interested in the company, which had a price tag of around 200 to 250 million euros. Nordic Capital has already pulled out of the process.

(Reuters) – Private equity firm IK Investment Partners’ sale of German outdoor sport surface maker Sport Group is in the balance as private equity firms reconsider bids for the company, bankers close to the deal said on Wednesday.

Final bids were due this week, but sponsors are unlikely to submit binding bids by this deadline. Nordic Capital has already pulled out of the process, the bankers said.

European buyout firms EQT, Nordic Capital and PAI Partners have been interested in the company, which had a price tag of around 200 to 250 million euros. Bankers are concerned that Sport Group’s earnings could drop as the company, which installs tracks and artificial turf pitches, is exposed to falling public spending.

The remaining private equity firms are considering whether to stay in the auction, being run by Macquarie Group , or to bid at a lower level, the bankers said.

Nordic Capital and PAI Partners declined to comment while EQT and IK were not immediately available to comment.

Leveraged loan bankers had been working on debt financings to support the potential leveraged buyout of around 160 million euros or 4 times the group’s 40 million euros earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), but are worried that 2011 EBITDA could be lower.

IK Investment, formerly known as Industri Kapital, bought Sport Group in 2006 from funds advised by ECM.