June 19, 2018 / 4:32 PM / in 10 months

Hospital bed maker LINET in private equity talks on stake sale: sources

FILE PHOTO: A worker assembles a hospital bed in Linet factory in Slany, Czech Republic, February 7, 2017. Picture taken February 7, 2017. REUTERS/David W Cerny/File Photo

FRANKFURT/PRAGUE (Reuters) - European hospital and nursing bed maker LINET Group is in talks with private equity firms interested in buying a stake in the company, sources with knowledge of the deal said.

LINET’s founder and largest shareholder Zbynek Frolik is working with JP Morgan, and potential bidders include buyout groups Advent and CVC, two of the sources said. Advent declined to comment and there was no immediate comment from CVC.

They are likely to value LINET, which has production sites in Germany and the Czech Republic and exports beds to dozens of countries, at up to 400 million euros ($463 million) including debt, one said, adding that confirmed first-round bids are due by the end of June.

Frolik had initially been seeking a valuation closer to 700 million for LINET, which made 90,000 nursing home and hospital beds last year, another source said.

LINET said its group sales reached 252 million euros and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization reached 38 million euros, for fiscal year ending March 2018.

Frolik, the largest shareholder with 33 percent in the Dutch-registered parent group, said a sale was possible and added there was “lot of interest”.

“LINET is looking for opportunities of further sustainable growth in the coming years even at the cost of the sale of a part of or the entire firm,” he told Reuters via a spokesman.

A group of German shareholders hold a 50 percent share in LINET Group, which includes German-based bed manufacturer wissner-bosserhoff.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Jan Lopatka; Editing by Alexander Smith

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