Private equity firms outmuscled by SPX in Gardner Denver bidding

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Four private equity firms interested in industrial equipment maker Gardner Denver have been well outbid by strategic SPX, it is understood.

The company has offered to pay more than $4bn for its rival according to Reuters, which said Gardner Denver share had hit an eight-month high following the news.

Competing offers from KKR, Advent International and a partnership between TPG Capital and Onex Corp came in at between $3.6bn and $3.9bn, it added.

Previous reports have suggested SPX hopes to wrap a deal up by the end of the year, creating an industrial machinery conglomerate with a market value of about $7bn.

Gardner Denver was said to have cancelled management meetings scheduled with buyout firms this week, and did not even seek final offers before turning to SPX for one-on-one talks.

Blackstone and Bain Capital previously took part in the auction but did not make it through to the second round in a sale process which is expected to fetch about $3.5bn.

Gardner was founded in 1859 and makes industrial compressors, blowers, pumps and fuel systems.

The US-based business has 40 manufacturing facilities globally and posted revenues of $2.4bn last year, about two-thirds of which were generated abroad.

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