Report: CHAMP Readies Exits

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian buyout firm CHAMP Private Equity is planning to sell assets worth around A$1 billion ($870 million) as it readies a third fund, the Australian Financial Review said on Wednesday.

Citing no source for its information, the business daily said CHAMP will sell malt producer United Malt and fuel transport business International Energy Services (IES). CHAMP has previously flagged possible sale of United Malt. [ID:nSYD135021].

The sales would be the two biggest exits by Australian private equity since the global credit crunch reduced the number of potential buyers, the paper said.

The paper cited a banker as saying the sales are necessary for CHAMP to prove it can get returns ahead of the launch of the new fund, which could be as big as A$2 billion.

United Malt will either be sold through a trade sale or floated on the stock market, and would be worth up to A$700 million. IES could be worth between A$400 million and A$600 million, and would probably attract trade buyers, the paper said.

Goldman Sachs JBWere and ABN AMRO are running the sale of United Malt, while JP Morgan has been mandated to sell one of IES's businesses, though the paper said there are buyers for the whole company. ($1=A$1.15) (Reporting by Jonathan Standing)