December 12, 2011 / 12:31 PM / 7 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Cognetas calls halt to Tokheim sale

(Refiles to correct dateline to Dec 12, not 11)

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - European private equity firm Cognetas has given up on the sale of French petrol station equipment provider Tokheim after offers failed to meet its price expectations.

Cognetas appointed JP Morgan to carry out a strategic review earlier this year, after receiving a number of expressions of interest for the business.

It received final offers for the business but decided they did not match Tokheim’s performance and prospects for the future, the firm said in a statement on Monday.

“Tokheim is a company that continues to trade ahead of budget despite the challenging market conditions, and there was no pressure on us to sell,” Cognetas managing partner Patrick Eisenchteter said.

Rival private equity groups First Reserve, PAI Partners and Rhone Capital were all bidding for the business, which Cognetas had hoped would fetch 400 million euros ($535 million) or more, people familiar the situation previously said.

Cognetas has now decided to keep Tokheim for another few years, and will investigate options for refinancing the business, a person familiar with the situation said.

Tokheim’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are set to hit 65 million euros this year, up from 48 million last year. ($1 = 0.7482 euros) (Reporting by Simon Meads and Stephen Mangan; Editing by Will Waterman)

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