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Permira In Exclusive Talks for Survitec

LONDON (Reuters) – European buyout house Permira has entered exclusive talks to buy survival equipment maker Survitec from rival Montagu Private Equity, a source familiar with the process said.

Permira beat off bids from Warburg Pincus and Carlyle Group to get exclusive access to Survitec’s books in the last few days, the source said.

Montagu had been hoping the sale of the Belfast-based manufacturer of life-jackets and life-rafts could fetch about 300 million pounds ($495.6 million).

In July, Reuters LPC reported banks were lining up 150 million pounds in financing for a potential buyer.

Investment bank NM Rothschild has been advising Montagu on options for the business.

Both Permira and Montagu declined to comment.

Montagu is also preparing the sale of second-hand car dealership British Car Auctions, which could net around 600 million pounds, banking sources have said.

The planned disposals come after the firm succeeded in selling sausage casing manufacter Kalle this summer in a 212.5 million euro ($315.6 million) deal that sparked confidence in a gradual return of the leveraged loans market.

Montagu, which also owns waste management firm Biffa [WSAQTB.UL] and electronics retailer Maplin [MPETN.UL], acquired Survitec for 146 million pounds in 2004 from Alchemy.

(Reporting by Simon Meads, Editing by Douwe Miedema and Hans Peters)