Cognetas Set to Sell Tokheim

European private equity firm Cognetas is set to sell petrol station equipment provider Tokheim for 400 million euros ($547.6 million), Reuters reported. First-round bids for the Paris-based company are due in October. Cognetas bought Tokheim from Axa Private Equity in 2005 for around 250 million euros, backed by 220 million euros of debt, Reuters wrote. In 2007 Apax recapitalised the deal, bringing debt up to 265 million euros.

(Reuters) – European private equity firm Cognetas is set to sell petrol station equipment provider Tokheim for around 400 million euros ($547.6 million), sources familiar with the matter said.

The sale is being run by JP Morgan and first-round bids for the Paris-based company are due in October. It is likely to attract interest from a number of private equity firms, the sources said on Thursday.

Debt advisory business Marlborough Partners has been mandated to co-ordinate a staple financing package involving a number of banks and could also include mezzanine lenders.

Negotiations are taking place over the term sheet after information and due diligence was provided. The process is nearly concluded, sources said.

A buyout will be backed by around 200 million euros of debt, giving a leverage ratio of between 3.5 and 3.75 times on the senior loans, based on the company’s 50 million euros EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation).

Cognetas, which split from Electra Partners in 2005, bought Tokheim from Axa Private Equity in 2005 for around 250 million euros, backed by 220 million euros of debt. In 2007 Apax recapitalised the deal, bringing debt up to 265 million euros, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

Tokheim had sales of 360 million euros in the year ended April 2005, rising to 590 million in the year through April 2011, in part due to global expansion including a joint venture in China.

Tokheim is a leader in equipment, systems, construction and maintenance services to petrol filling stations.

Marlborough Partners declined to comment, while Cognetas was not immediately available to comment. ($1 = 0.730 Euros) (Reporting by Claire Ruckin)