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Goldman, Thomas H. Lee in bid to buy Blackstone’s GCA: Reuters

Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS.N) private equity arm and buyout firm
Thomas H. Lee Partners LP are in talks to acquire facility management company
GCA Services Group Inc from
Blackstone Group Inc (BX.N), according to people familiar with the matter.

Goldman’s and Thomas H. Lee’s consortium has submitted an offer that values GCA at around $1 billion, including debt, the people said on Wednesday. Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, has been soliciting other bids for GCA and there is no certainty that Goldman and Thomas H. Lee will prevail, the people added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential. Blackstone, Goldman and Thomas H. Lee declined to comment, while GCA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The janitorial industry is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 4.3 percent through 2018, versus U.S. economic growth of close to 3 percent, according to investment bank Scott-Macon Ltd.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, GCA provides janitors and cleaners to schools, airports, warehouses, power stations, rental car locations and other businesses in the United States. It has more than 37,000 employees, according to its website.

Blackstone acquired GCA in 2012 from investment firm Nautic Partners LLC and other minority shareholders in a $715 million deal. Based in New York, Blackstone had $333.9 billion in assets under management as of the end of September.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York)

Photo: Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Blackstone Group, speaks during an interview with Maria Bartiromo, on her Fox Business Network show in New York February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid