May 18, 2017 / 5:40 PM / 3 months ago

Spanish car park owner Empark up for sale - sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - Real estate group A. Silva & Silva has launched the sale of Spanish car parking company Empark, which could be valued at up to 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), people close to the matter said on Thursday.

The deal adds to a string of parking assets that has come to market recently and the sellers hope to attract appetite from infra funds banking on the recovery of the Spanish economy.

A. Silva & Silva’s investment vehicle ASSIP said in a regulatory filing earlier this year that it was evaluating options for Empark, including a sale.

The 79-percent owner and its co-investors have given JP Morgan and Caixa BI the task of finding a buyer for Empark, the sources told Reuters.

Empark had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 71 million euros on sales of 201 million euros last year, they added.

JP Morgan declined to comment, while Caixa BI, Empark and its owners were not immediately available for comment.

First-round bids for Empark, which manages 530,000 parking spaces in the Iberian Peninsula, Britain and Turkey, are due at the end of the month, the sources said.

Potential bidders include infrastructure funds as well as peers such as Saba, majority-owned by Spain's Criteria, and Grupo de Aparcamientos -- a Spanish company expressed interest in buying Empark two years ago.

Saba and Grupo de Aparcamientos declined to comment.

Car parking has been an active area for M&A, with buyout firm Ardian putting parking space operator Indigo on the block, while KKR recently winning the bidding for Dutch car park operator Q-Park, sources have said.

Indigo, formerly Vinci Park, attempted to buy Empark in 2015, but a deal never materialised.

And last year, buyout group EQT sold Spanish car park operator Parkia to First State Investments. At the time, Belgium group Interparking had also expressed interest in Parkia.

Additional reporting by Andres Gonzalez and Andrei Khalip; editing by Alexander Smith

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