Private equity firms Candover and Electra Partners are closer to a sale of portfolio company Baxi Group, the boiler maker with an £800m price tag.
According to The Times, possible buyers include private equity firms Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and BC Partners, plus UTC, the US industrial group. Merrill Lynch, which was hired to oversee the sale, drew up a shortlist of seven after indicative offers were submitted two weeks ago.
Italian boiler maker Merloni Termosanitari has also been identified as an interested party, but it not known whether it made the shortlist. Carlyle Group is reported to be bidding alongside Riello, the Italian heating products group in which it has a 50 per cent stake.
Electra merged existing portfolio company Newmond with Baxi Holdings to form Baxi Group in November 2000 in a deal supported by equity investments from Candover and NIB and bank debt from Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank and Société Générale. Fire protection group Kidde acquired a 25 per cent stake in the firm in 2000.
The Derby-based group supplies heating, hot water and air quality products and employs over 5,500 people. Its brands include Potterton and Baxi boilers, Myson radiators and Aqualisa showers. The firm has over 600 staff in Germany, where it trades under the brand names Brotje Heizung and Brotje Automation.
Electra is also reported to have put Premium Credit up for sale for around £250m. The business, which was formerly part of HSBC, makes loans to individuals and companies to pay their insurance premiums.