October 24, 2019 / 2:25 PM / 24 days ago

Ardian to launch sale of loudspeaker maker d&b Audiotechnik - sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Buyout group Ardian is preparing the sale of d&b Audiotechnik in a deal that may value the German professional loudspeaker maker at more than 600 million euros (£518 million), people close to the matter said on Thursday.

Ardian is expected to shortly mandate an advisor to help it divest the company, which was founded by entrepreneurs Juergen Daubert and Rolf Belz near Stuttgart in 1981, and which Ardian bought in 2016.

The maker of speakers for stadiums, concert halls and conference rooms is expected to post earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of between 45 million euros and 50 million this year, two of the people said.

It could be valued at more than 12 times that, the multiple that Ardian paid when it acquired the company from investor Odewald, one of the people said.

Ardian declined to comment.

Suppliers of consumer speakers such as Sony (6758.T), Panasonic (6752.T) or Sharp (6753.T) trade at six to seven times expected core earnings, while makers of professional gear usually fetch significantly higher valuations, the people said.

The German firm competes with the likes of KKR-owned Pioneer DJ, which is also up for sale according to media reports, as well as with Astorg-owned Audiotonix.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by David Evans and David Holmes

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