May 30 (Reuters) - Investment firm Mantle Ridge LP is exploring forming a consortium with private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds to make an offer for U.S. food services company Aramark, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Mantle Ridge, which was founded by former Pershing Square Capital Management LP partner Paul Hilal, would be attempting one of the biggest leveraged buyouts since the financial crisis if it goes ahead with an offer. Aramark has market value of a about $8 billion and a debt pile of more than $7 billion.
Mantle Ridge plans to push Aramark to explore a sale, and has also held preliminary talks with banks about raising debt financing for the bid, the sources said. There is no certainty the bid will materialize, the sources added.
Mantle Ridge and Aramark did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York Editing by Bill Rigby)