Carlyle In Talks To Buy B&B Hotels

PARIS (Reuters) – French financial holding firm Eurazeo (EURA.PA) said on Saturday it is in exclusive talks to sell its B&B Hotels chain to U.S. private equity firm the Carlyle Group [CYL.UL].

The negotiations assume an enterprise value for the business of 485 million euros ($633 million), Eurazeo said in a statement.

“This short-term negotiating period will end before the end of next week and may be extended if certain conditions with regard to the financing of the transaction are fulfilled,” Eurazeo said.

Rival private equity firm Bridgepoint [BRDG.UL] had also been in talks to buy B&B Hotels, but Carlyle raised its bid at the last minute, a person close to Bridgepoint told Reuters on Saturday.

B&B Hotels operates over 200 budget hotels in France and Germany, and is expanding in Italy, Poland and Portugal. In 2009, the hotel chain reported an 11.3 percent rise in operating profit to 71 million euros.

Eurazeo has a portfolio of almost 4 billion euros in assets, with major shareholdings in companies including hotel group Accor (ACCP.PA) and wholesaler Rexel (RXL.PA). ($1=.7664 Euro) (Reporting by James Regan and Julien Ponthus; editing by Sue Thomas)