U.S. Markets closed

Advent International nears deal to acquire Culligan -sources

By Greg Roumeliotis

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Advent International Corp is nearing a deal to acquire U.S. water treatment company Culligan International from buyout firm Centerbridge Partners LP for more than $900 million, including debt, people familiar with the matter said.

Advent prevailed in an auction for Culligan that attracted the interest of other private equity firms, as well as pump manufacturer Pentair Plc, the people said on Tuesday.

A deal could be announced as early as this week, the people said, cautioning that an agreement has not been finalized and the outcome could still change.

The sources asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Culligan, Advent, Centerbridge and Pentair did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Based in Rosemont, Illinois, Culligan offers water softeners, filtration systems, industrial water treatment solutions and drinking water systems.

Known for its advertisements starting in the 1950s that featured a cartoon housewife beckoning "Hey Culligan man!", Culligan was acquired by Centerbridge in 2012 in an out-of-court debt restructuring. Its previous owner was buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC.

(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby)