Sweden’s Bravida Attracts Bids

Four private equity firms are set to fight it out for Sweden’s Bravida, worth around $1 billion, writes Reuters. Sources familiar with the matter said EQT, Apax Partners, Bain Capital and PAI Partners have proceeded into the second round of bids for the installation services firm, owned by private equity group Triton.

Reuters – At least four private equity firms are set to fight it out for Sweden’s Bravida, worth around $1 billion, the latest signal that that buyout markets are alive and well in the Nordic region.

Sources familiar with the matter said EQT, Apax Partners , Bain Capital and PAI Partners have proceeded into the second round of bids for the installation services firm, owned by private equity group Triton.

Some of the sources said Nordic Capital did not make it into the second round, but added it was possible the buyout house could still get back into the auction process. Triton declined to comment. The other private equity firms either declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

Rival installation services firms, seen as natural buyers of Bravida, such as Imtech and Spie, a French group bought by buyout firms Clayton Dubilier & Rice and AXA Private Equity from PAI last year, did not submit bids, the sources said.

The auction follows the sale of Ahlsell by Cinven and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for 1.8 billion euros to rival CVC, the largest private equity buyout in Europe this year, a testament to the continuing strength of Nordic debt markets and buyers belief in the outperformance of the region’s economies.

Bravida could fetch around 9 times EBITDA, valuing the company at around 6.5 to 7 billion Swedish crowns, or about $1 billion. Up to half of that would be available in financing from local banks, some of the sources said.

Triton bought Bravida at the end of 2006 from Telenor and other principal shareholders after the Norwegian telecoms group decided to divest non-core activities.

Triton is also considering a sale of steel maker Ovako as it prepares to raise a new 2.5 bln euro fund for deals in the Nordic region and German-speaking Europe where it specialises.

Bravida provides electrical, plumbing, heating and other installations. It had net sales of 10.7 billion crowns ($1.6 billion) in 2011 and an operating profit of 663 million.

It employs 8,000 people and has offices in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Deutsche Bank and Handelsbanken are advising Triton on the sale.