By Arno Schuetze, Anjuli Davies and Claire Ruckin
FRANKFURT/LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - The private equity arm of Dubai Holding has asked buyout groups to submit binding bids for its German packaging group Mauser, after putting on hold a larger auction which comprised two additional assets, three sources familiar with the transaction told Reuters.
The sale of Mauser by Dubai International Capital (DIC) would be one of the largest asset disposals by the emirate since its debt crisis in 2009, when several of its state entities were forced to restructure debt and seek more time for repayment.
"The Mauser sale is being continued as planned originally," one of the sources said. Two sources said an effort organised by Evercore to sell a package of three DIC assets - British engineering aerospace group Doncasters and German aluminium manufacturer Almatis as well as Mauser - was no longer actively being pursued.
Buyout firms Blackstone, Ardian, Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), Pamplona, Apollo and Platinum have been allowed to submit second-round offers for Mauser by an early April deadline, the sources said.
The suitors are likely to value Mauser at about 7 times its expected operating earnings of roughly 150 million euros, or 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion), in line with the valuation of U.S. peer Greif, which trades at a multiple of 6.8 times and is not bidding for Mauser.
Banks are working on debt packages for potential buyers of around 6.5 times operating earnings or about 1 billion euros, one of the sources said, adding the debt would be subject to a minimum equity contribution.
Blackstone, Pamplona and Ardian declined comment, while DIC, CD&R, Apollo and Platinum were not immediately available for comment.
DIC bought Mauser from JPMorgan's buyout unit in 2007 in a deal which valued the firm at 850 million euros.
Founded in 1896 in a small town in southern Germany, the company makes packaging equipment such as cans and drums for transporting medical waste and other hazardous chemicals.