Auction of Genstar-backed Ministry Brands starts: sources

The auction of Ministry Brands LLC, the software provider backed by Genstar Capital and Providence Equity Partners, has begun, three banking sources said.

Bank of America Corp is advising on the process. First-round bids are due in October, two of the sources said.

Large private equity firms such as Advent International, Carlyle Group, KKR and Blackstone Group are expected to be interested in Ministry Brands, the third source said.

Ministry Brands, Knoxville, Tennessee, supplies software to more than 55,000 churches and faith-based organizations, its website said. Genstar acquired Ministry Brands in November 2015. Providence Equity and Ares Capital are also investors.

Ministry Brands is projecting $100 million in 2017 EBITDA; it is seeking bids of $1.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported in August.

The $1.5 billion price tag may be “a bit aspirational … but you never know,” one of the bankers said.

Genstar, of San Francisco, is currently investing from its seventh fund, which closed at $2 billion in 2015. The firm targets sectors including financial services, software, industrial technology, and healthcare.

Executives for Genstar, Providence, KKR, Carlyle and B of A declined comment. Ministry Brands, Advent and Blackstone couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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