British packaging group RPC is preparing a bid for private equity-owned French peer Albea in a potential $1.5 billion deal as it seeks to broaden its footprint in bottles, dispensers and tubes for cosmetics, people close to the matter said.
Private equity group Sun Capital has put Albea up for sale with the help of investment bank Lazard and has asked potential buyers to hand in first-round bids by a Nov. 4 deadline, they said.
Buyout groups including CVC, Bain, Advent, PAI, Onex and Partners Group are also expected to present offers, they added, while one of the sources said that U.S.-based packaging group Bemis may also bid.
Sun Capital, Lazard and the potential bidders declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.
Albea is expected to post earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of about $180 million this year, and bidders are expected to offer to buy it at a valuation of about 8 times EBITDA or more.
Bankers are working on financing packages of up to $1 billion.
Albea, formerly known as Alcan Packaging Beauty, has grown strongly since its buyout by Sun in 2010, helped by a series of acquisitions of such as that of Rexam Personal Care in 2012.
RPC has also made a number of mainly small acquisitions recently, and among other bought peer British Polythene Industries for 261 million pounds earlier this year.
If Sun Capital is unable to see its price expectations met it may opt for a refinancing instead of a sale, one of the sources said.