HgCapital puts German meter maker Qundis up for sale, say sources: Reuters

Buyout group HgCapital has put Qundis, a maker of metering devices for heat and water consumption, up for sale in a deal potentially worth more than 400 million euros ($435 mln), people close to the matter said.

The investor has asked investment bank Rothschild [ROT.UL] to find a buyer for the German company, which is expecting to post earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 30 million euros this year, they added.

HgCapital and Rothschild declined to comment.

HgCapital is hoping to attract offers worth up to 14 times Qundis’ core earnings from potential bidders such as Honeywell (HON.N) and other private equity firms.

Honeywell bought German metering technology company Elster in 2015 at a valuation of about 13 times that group’s expected core earnings.

The Qundis auction is expected to start in early 2017.

The metering services sector will be closely watched in Germany next year with Ista and Techem – which both specialize in meter reading and billing services – expected to be put up for sale by their private equity owners.

Qundis was created in 2009 through a merger of Qvedis, a former Siemens (SIEGn.DE) unit, and Kundo SystemTechnik. HgCapital bought Qundis in 2012 from peer investor Capcellence.