Essent To Shortlist Bidders For Milieu Unit In Days -Sources

Date : 03/23/2009 @ 12:00PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Essex Property Trust, Inc. (ESS)
Quote : 227.1  0.0 (0.00%) @ 2:05AM

Essent To Shortlist Bidders For Milieu Unit In Days -Sources

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Dutch energy company Essent NV is set to shortlist bidders for Essent Milieu, its waste management business, within days, people familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires Monday.

While several private equity firms, including CVC Capital Partners, Montagu Private Equity and Doughty Hanson, have dropped out of the process, London-based BC Partners remains interested, people said.

Buyout shops, trade buyers and infrastructure funds have all taken a look at the business but a number failed to submit first-round bids, illustrating the continuing disconnect between what sellers want and what buyers, of all sorts, are prepared to pay.

The unit is likely to be valued at around EUR1 billion and Essent's advisors, ING and Credit Suisse, are arranging a soft staple financing of around EUR400 million-EUR500 million, other people have told Dow Jones Newswires.

A report earlier Monday said the staple financing, which is made up of EUR392.5 million in senior debt and EUR150 million of mezzanine debt, is nearly complete.

Global Infrastructure Partners, or GIP, is also in the process, one person said. It is unclear whether infrastructure funds owned by Fortis NV (FORB.BT) and NIBC have submitted bids.

Meanwhile French energy services group Veolia Environnement (VE) ruled itself out of a bid for Essent Milieu earlier this month. Other trade buyers are French GDF Suez (GSZ.FR), U.S. Covanta Holding Corp. (CVA) and Wheelabrator were also interested but it is unclear whether they have submitted bids.

Earlier this year the lion's share of Essent's activities was sold to German utilities company RWE AG (RWE.XE) for EUR9.3 billion. This excluded Essent's power grids business and its waste-management unit, Essent Milieu.

-By Marietta Cauchi, Carol Dean and Robin van Daalen, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9241;


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