Goldman and Bain among bidders for events company PSAV -sources

Reuters

By Greg Roumeliotis

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Bain Capital LLC, Crestview Partners LPand Goldman Sachs Group Inc's private equity arm areamong the firms preparing to submit final bids for eventsservices company PSAV Presentation Services, three peoplefamiliar with the matter said this week.

Kelso & Co, the private equity firm that acquired PSAV for$413.4 million in 2007, is hoping to fetch as much as $1 billionfor the company, said the people, who asked not to be identifiedbecause the sale process is confidential.

Representatives of PSAV, Kelso, Bain, Crestview and GoldmanSachs did not respond to requests for comment.

PSAV is the largest provider of audiovisual services to theU.S. hotel industry and helps coordinate events and meetingsusing high-definition projectors and plasma screens.

The Long Beach, California-based company has earnings beforeinterest, tax, depreciation and amortization of between $130million and $140 million and could be sold for between $900million and $1 billion, people have previously told Reuters.

PSAV strengthened its position in the niche market for audiovisual services for the hotel industry last year by acquiringcompetitor Swank Holdings Inc for $270 million, equivalent toeight times Swank's EBITDA, according to a credit research noteat the time by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Inc.

With the acquisition, PSAV increased its market share from27 percent to 45 percent, according to Standard & Poor's.

A deal for Goldman, should it prevail, would come after itchanged the way it invests in private equity to comply with theso-called Volcker rule that is expected to limit investment bankinvestments in illiquid asset classes.

In a bid to pool money for deals without raising a privateequity fund, the Wall Street bank has been underwriting theequity in deals and then lining up clients who are willing toput money into accounts set up to invest in them, peoplefamiliar with the matter said earlier this year.

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