Actuant, Columbus McKinnon vie for lifting company Crosby -sources

Reuters

By Soyoung Kim, Greg Roumeliotis and Michael Erman

Oct 2 (Reuters) - Industrial products makers Actuant Corp and Columbus McKinnon Corp are among thebidders for Crosby Group LLC, a lifting equipment company thatis valued at around $1 billion, several people familiar with thematter said this week.

Crosby, a unit of British engineering firm MelroseIndustries Plc, has also attracted private equityoffers, including from KKR & Co LP, Warburg Pincus LLC,TPG Capital LP and CCMP Capital LP, the people said.

The management of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Crosby has alreadymet with potential buyers and the company will soon seek finalbids, the people added, asking not to be identified becausedetails of the sale process are confidential.

"Actuant has a robust mergers and acquisitions pipeline and,while I cannot comment on specific deals, our funnel has, andwill continue to contain, a combination of potential tuck-in andlarger transactions," Actuant spokeswoman Karen Bauer said in aresponse to a request for comment.

Representatives for Melrose Industries, Columbus McKinnonand TPG did not reply to requests for comment while KKR, WarburgPincus and CCMP declined to comment. Melrose has previously saidit expects to sell Crosby by the end of 2013.

Crosby, which makes lifting fittings and blocks for the oiland gas, construction and mining sectors, is working withJPMorgan Chase on the sale, people familiar with thematter said in July.

In June, Melrose agreed to sell its generators and electricmotors unit Marelli Motors to another private equity firm,Carlyle Group LP, for 212 million euros ($287 million).

Melrose itself follows a private equity-type model ofinvesting in companies, improving their performance and thenselling them. It acquired Crosby in 2008 as part of its 1billion pounds ($1.6 billion) takeover of engineeringconglomerate FKI Plc.

In August, Melrose said first-half revenue more than doubledthanks to its $2.3 billion acquisition of Elster Group SE, whichmakes meters for measuring gas, water and electricityconsumption.

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