Low bids cause Crestview to pull the Munder auction – sources

Crestview Partners has called off the sale of Munder Capital Management, four sources said.

High price expectations scared many bidders away, two PE sources said. Crestview asked for bids of more than 10x EBITDA for Munder, but ended up receiving only 7x, one of the PE sources said.

“Crestview is going to keep the business for now and recap it,” the PE exec said.

Founded in 1985, Birmingham, Mich.-based Munder is an asset manager with $15.5 billion in AUM. Crestview, a New York private equity firm, acquired Munder from Comerica in January 2007, in a deal valued at $302 million.

Crestview put Munder up for sale earlier this year with Goldman Sachs tapped to advise on the auction. The PE firm was seeking bids of $350 million to $400 million, Reuters has reported.

The auction for Munder was dominated by PE firms. Buyouts shops including Thoma Bravo, Blackstone and Flexpoint Ford were vying for the asset manager, Reuters said. Blackstone was reportedly partnering with Advent  International to jointly buy Munder as a way to creating a multi-boutique investment manager similar to Affiliated Managers Group.

Officials for Crestview and Munder did not immediately return calls for comment. Goldman declined comment.

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