CVC to sell Mivisa for around $1.4Bn

Private equity firm CVC is expected to receive bids of between EUR1 billion to EUR1.2 billion ($1.4 billion to $1.6 billion) for Mivisa, the Spanish food-can maker. Fellow private equity firms Blackstone, Carlyle , and Apollo are said to be circling, according to a Reuters report. First round bids are expected on Friday.

(Reuters) – Buyout firm CVC is poised to receive preliminary bids for Mivisa, the Spanish food-can maker which it hopes will fetch 1 to 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 to $1.6 billion), people familiar with the matter said.

The potential sale underscores an improving market for the sale of industrial companies exposed to swings in the economy. Bids are due on Friday, the people said, and are likely to come from both rival private equity firms and competing packaging companies.

With Mivisa touted as a candidate for an initial public offering (IPO) earlier this year, it also highlights a trend of private equity firms opting to sell portfolio companies rather than brave rocky public markets.

Private equity suitors could include major U.S. firms such as Blackstone Group LP, The Carlyle Group and Apollo Management LP, some of the people said. Apollo earlier this year lost out in a bidding war for Pactiv Corp, the U.S. maker of Hefty trash bags. Blackstone, Carlyle and CVC declined to comment. Apollo and Mivisa could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.

Mivisa’s listed peers include Silgan Holdings Inc, based in Woodland Hills, California, which says it is the largest metal food-can supplier in North America.

News of the potential deal comes days after Doughty Hanson & Co agreed to sell metal-packaging firm Impress, which it had owned since 1997, to privately owned Irish glassmaker Ardagh Glass.

Ardagh, whose biggest shareholder is chairman Paul Coulson, has immediately moved to refinance the 1.7 billion euro deal with high-yield bonds in dollars and euros.

(By Quentin Webb and Simon Meads. Additional reporting by Alasdair Reilly with Andres Gonzalez and Judy MacInnes in Madrid; Editing by Steve Slater and David Holmes)