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EQT kicks off sale of German facilities manager Apleona - sources

FRANKFURT, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Buyout group EQT has kicked off the sale of facilities manager Apleona, previously part of industrial services group Bilfinger , for up to 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), people close to the matter said.

EQT, which is working with Deutsche Bank on the sale, last week sent out first information packages to prospective buyers such as CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), as well as private equity groups, they said.

A stock market listing in summer 2021, organised by Deutsche Bank and UBS, is also being considered, one of the people said.

EQT, Deutsche Bank and UBS declined to comment.

EQT bought the company at a valuation of 1.4 billion euros in 2016 and last year started preparations for the sale, but then delayed it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apleona employs roughly 20,000 staff in 30 countries and has annual sales of 2 billion euros. It counts BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, BASF, Adidas, Siemens and Lufthansa among its clients.

Apleona has earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 135 million euros. It could be valued at about 16 times that, one of the sources said, while another said buyers were likely to offer a significantly lower enterprise value (equity plus debt).

Some investors may be wary of the potential long-term impact of the health crisis on Apleona’s business, as companies may use less office space if they continue to allow many employees to work from home after the pandemic.

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