Financing Takes Shape for Converteam Sale

LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) – The financial backing for the sale of French power conversion firm Converteam is taking shape, banking sources said on Friday.

Converteam, which could fetch over 1 billion euros ($1.6 billion), is being sold by Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) Private Equity in an auction which has generated interest from private equity houses and some trade buyers.

HSBC, Lehman, Societe Generale, Natixis and Royal Bank of Scotland are close to providing a staple financing to back the deal.

Staple financings are pre-arranged debt packages offered to bidders in acquisitions and are usually arranged by banks advising on the sell-side.

Converteam is a leading power conversion engineering company, manufacturing rotating machines, drives and converters for the marine, oil and gas and offshore energy industries.

The group reported an 80 percent increase in orders to 1.43 billion euros and a rise in sales of 29 percent to 875 million euros in the year to December 2007. (Reporting by Alasdair Reilly; Editing by David Holmes)