LONDON Blackstone (BX.N) has entered into exclusive talks to buy Dutch trust and corporate management business Intertrust Group, put up for sale by private equity firm Waterland, banking sources said on Thursday.
Banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N), Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Nomura (9716.T) and UniCredit (CRDI.MI) are now working on financing of around 400-500 million euros ($512.76-$640.95 million) to back the deal, bankers said.
Waterland bought Intertrust in September 2009, backed by around 140 million euros of debt. Earlier this year, Intertrust bought Walkers Management Services, refinanced its debt and got an additional loan, bringing its total debt to 250 million euros.
Blackstone, Cinven and Pamplona were the three remaining buyout houses competing for the deal after Carlyle and Goldman Sachs Private Equity dropped out at an earlier stage.
Second round bids were submitted on November 7 in an auction process run by ING ING.AS, bankers said.
Blackstone's exclusive talks are expected to last a couple of weeks. Blackstone declined to comment. Waterland was not immediately available to comment.
The buyout has attracted a lot of interest from banks wanting to finance the deal after disappointing levels of leveraged buyout activity so far this year. M&A volumes driven by private equity have fallen 53 percent to $20.9 billion year- to-date compared to $44.3 billion for the same period in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.
Financing for the buyout will be made up of senior leveraged loans or a mixture of senior leveraged loans and mezzanine debt. This could be offered to relationship loan investors before the end of the year and then launched for general syndication to institutional investors early next year.
Founded in 1952, Intertrust has more than 1,000 employees in moreover 20 countries worldwide. Its core business is to set up and manage holding companies, Waterland said on its website.
(Reporting by Claire Ruckin. Editing by Jane Merriman)