Oaktree Looks To Sell Nordenia International

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Oaktree Capital Management is seeking to sell German flexible packaging maker Nordenia International AG for about 600 million euros ($844 million), people familiar with the matter said.

Nordenia’s range of flexible packaging, technical films and other products includes packing for Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) meal kits and Nestle (NESN.VX) cat food, and components for Procter & Gamble (PG.N) diapers.

Oaktree, the Los Angeles-based investment firm, has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to manage the sale and is seeking binding bids in mid-February, the people said.

Bidders include U.S. buyout firm TPG Capital [TPG.UL], North European private equity firm Triton, and a strategic rival, the people said.

A fourth suitor is private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, which often invests in companies in financial distress but also owns several companies in the sector, including U.S. flexible packaging firm Exopack, and European packaging maker Veriplast, they added.

The sale of Nordenia, which the sources said had attracted a trio of buyout firms, comes as private equity firms are regaining access to debt and recovering the appetite for deals in Europe. On Wednesday KKR [KKR.UL] agreed the 955 million pound purchase of Pets at Home, a British seller of pet food and accessories.

Greven-based Nordenia was founded in 1966. It employs more than 3,000 staff and had turnover of 736 million euros in fiscal 2008, according to its website. Oaktree bought 90 percent of the company for an undisclosed amount in 2006.

Nordenia’s publicly traded rivals include Bemis Co (BMS.N), which became by far the biggest North American player in the food packaging industry after it bought Rio Tinto’s Food Americas business for $1.2 billion last year.

Oaktree, Nordenia, Goldman Sachs, TPG, and Sun Capital declined to comment. Triton representatives did not return a request for comment.

($1=.7112 Euro)

By Quentin Webb and Alexander Huebner
(Additional reporting by Simon Meads in London, Megan Davies in New York, and Philipp Halstrick in Frankfurt, editing by Will Waterman)