One Equity Partners relaunches sale of Constantia Flexibles: Reuters

Buyout group One Equity Partners (OEP) has relauched the sale of Austrian packaging company Constantia Flexibles one year after attempts to list the company on the stock exchange failed, three people familiar with the matter said.

OEP, which is 50 percent owned by JP Morgan, has received several expressions of interest from rival buyout groups such as CVC and EQT valuing Constantia at about 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion), they added.

JP Morgan has been retained as an adviser to manage the sale of the maker of aluminium foil, paper and plastic-film packaging and labels for the food, pharmaceutical and beverage industries, they added.

The private equity firms are likely to value Constantia at roughly 7.5 to 8 times its expected 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of 265 million euros, they said.

In 2013, Constantia posted an EBITDA of 240 million euros on sales of 1.6 billion euros. In the first six months of 2014, core earnings rose by 6 percent.

Listed competitors such as Amcor, Bemis, Sealed Air, Berry and Mondi trade at an average of 8 times their expected earnings.

The buyout groups, JP Morgan and Constantia declined to comment.

In April, Constantia Flexibles Chief Executive Thomas Unger said the group might try again for a public listing with preparations for that possibly starting as early as the second half of the year.

One of the sources said an initial public offering (IPO) continued to be an option and could be carried out if bidders did not meet the sellers’ price expectations. In 2013, OEP pulled a planned flotation after deciding the valuation Constantia would have achieved was too low.

OEP is the last remaining private equity operation of JP Morgan. The bank sold 50 percent in OEP to Lexington Partners and Carlyle’s Alpinvest unit in August after defining it as not core to its business.

(1 US dollar = 0.8065 euro)

(Reporting by Freya Berry, Arno Schuetze; additional reporting by Angelika Gruber; Editing by Thomas Atkins and Mark Potter)

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