China’s CIMC Beats Out PE Firms for Loscam

(Reuters) – China’s CIMC, the world’s largest shipping container maker, has won the bidding to buy Australian pallet maker Loscam Ltd, according to two banking sources.

China International Marine Containers (Group) Co (CIMC) (200039.SZ) (000039.SZ) beat bids from private equity firms Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) and CHAMP, the sources said.

Two sources from the nine banks backing PEP’s bid said they were told on Monday that the firm’s bid had been unsuccessful. The sources were also told that CIMC had won.

A spokesman for Loscam’s owner, Affinity Equity Partners, said that the process was ongoing, but declined to comment further.

CIMC was not available for comment.

The debt packages backing both private equity bids came in within around A$10 million ($8.43 million) to A$20 million of each other, according to one source familiar with the matter.

The source believed that both sponsors had pitched at around nine times EBITDA of A$64 million, or close to A$600 million.

Affinity acquired the company in 2005 for about A$250 million from DB Capital Partners.

Loscam makes and hires out wooden and plastic pallets, and is a competitor to listed Brambles Ltd (BXB.AX), the world’s top pallet supplier. The company, based in Australia, has 11 offices throughout Asia.

(Reporting by Stephen Aldred and by Sharon Klyne in Melbourne; editing by Ed Davies)