Candover’s Wood Mackenzie Receives 10 Buyout Bids

LONDON (Reuters) – At least 10 groups, including private equity firms, consultancies and trade rivals, have made indicative bids for British energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The strong early interest in Wood Mackenzie, which could fetch 650 million pounds ($986 million) or more, is a boost for its majority owner, the beleaguered buyout firm Candover.

Candover’s listed parent, Candover Investments Plc (CDI.L) is itself in talks with several parties about a takeover.

Candover has hired Goldman Sachs to sell Wood Mackenzie.

First-round bids for Wood Mackenzie were received last week, the source said, and a small number of suitors will now take part in a second round of bidding.

Wood Mackenzie, Candover and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

British newspapers say consultancy Accenture Ltd (ACN.N), and rivals inlcuding Apax Partners’s [APAX.UL] Incisive Media, Informa (INF.L), and IHS Inc (IHS.N), are possible buyers and Wood Mackenzie could be worth 650 million pounds or more.

IHS’s chief executive said in March it was looking at potential acquisitions.

Last week, banking sources told Reuters Loan Pricing Corp that lenders to Wood Mackenzie’s existing 225 million pound debt financing might be expected to roll into an amended financing in return for a hike in pricing and fees.

Those lenders are Bank of Scotland, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Lloyds and NIBC.

(Reporting by Quentin Webb; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.6592 pound)