Buyout groups bid for German frozen cake company Coppenrath, say sources-Reuters

(Reuters) – Several private equity firms have made preliminary bids for German frozen cake company Coppenrath & Wiese in a deal that could be worth around 400 million euros ($470 million), according to two people familiar with the transaction.

EQT, Cinven, CVC and Montagu are among the interested parties, the sources said. Final offers for the family-owned company – founded in 1975 by two pastry chefs whose families have been involved in confectionery for 200 years – are due in coming days, they added.

The final bids are likely to value the business at more than 10 times the group’s 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of 36 million euros, the sources said.

German food group Oetker had also expressed interest in Coppenrath – which employs 2000 staff – but talks collapsed over price and Germany’s market leader for frozen pizza is not taking part in the current bidding, one of the sources said.

But the source added: “I would not rule out that the main objective of the auction has been to push up the price and would not be surprised if Oetker ends up buying Coppenrath.”

Coppenrath, Oetker, and the buyout groups all declined to comment, while investment banks M.M. Warburg and C.W. Downer, which are organising the sale, were not immediately available for comment.