One Equity Partners relaunches sale of Constantia Flexibles

One Equity Partners (OEP) will go ahead with the sale of Austrian flexible packaging company Constantia Flexibles after it failed to list the company on the stock exchange.

JP Morgan owns 50% of OEP and has received expressions of interest from rival buyout groups including CVC, Cinven, Permira and EQT, valuing Constantia at about €2bn, reported Reuters. OEP is the last remaining private equity operation under JP Morgan. The bank sold 50% of OEP to Lexington Partners and Carlyle's Alpinvest unit in August after it stated that the firm was not core to its business. JP Morgan continues to function as an adviser to manage the transaction.

Constantia supplies its products to companies in sectors like food, pet food, pharmaceuticals and beverage. The company employs close to 8,000 employees at 42 production locations across 18 countries. Reuters further added that there was a possibility of private equity firms valuing Constantia at around 7.5 to 8 times its expected 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of €265m.

An unnamed source was quoted by Reuters as saying that an initial public offering (IPO) could be an option and could be carried out if bidders did not meet the sellers' price expectations. In 2013, OEP pulled a planned flotation after deciding that the valuation Constantia would have achieved was too low. Constantia Flexibles chief executive Thomas Unger had said in April that the group might re-try for a public listing with preparations for that possibly starting as early as the second half of the year.

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