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By Pamela Barbaglia and Abhinav Ramnarayan
LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The private equity owner ofFrench car parts group Autodis has hired banks to resume plansfor a share sale in Paris in a bid to take advantage of stronginvestor demand in the busiest-ever start to a year for stocklistings, sources told Reuters.
U.S. buyout firm Bain Capital, which took control of Autodisin 2015, has hired Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribasand Barclays as global coordinators to pursue aninitial public offering (IPO) this year, two sources familiarwith the matter said.
The planned share sale comes amid buoyant market conditionswith a record $63 billion of global IPO fundraising in Januaryand follows an aborted listing attempt in 2018 due tolower-than-expected investors demand.
Autodis could be valued at more than 1.5 billion euros($1.81 billion) in its latest attempt to go public, one of thesources said.
Autodis and Bain Capital declined to comment while spokesmenat the banks were not immediately available.
Based in Arcueil, on the outskirts of Paris, Autodisspecialises in aftermarket spare parts distribution for bothlight vehicles and trucks in Western Europe, with a focus onFrance, the Benelux, Italy and Spain.
The firm expects to generate core earnings of about 200million euros in the financial year ending in March and islooking at U.S. recycled auto parts supplier LKQ Corp -which bought Italian auto parts distributor Rhiag from Apax in2015 - as a possible comparable for its listing.
LKQ trades on an EV/EBITDA multiple for the trailing 12months of 10.5 times, according to Refinitiv's Eikon terminals.
Autodis grew its EBITDA by 20% to around 154 million eurosin 2019. Last year, it tapped into a government-backed loanscheme in France to replenish its coffers and grapple with theCOVID-19 crisis, borrowing about 25 million euros.
"The overall business performance has proved resilientdespite the lockdowns triggered by the pandemic," one of thesources said.
"Earnings will keep growing in 2021 as the industry reboundsand most countries reopen for business."($1 = 0.8279 euros)(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Abhinav Ramnarayan; editingby Jonathan Oatis)