Sabater: Portobello to resume sale process at the end of the year

Breaking News 22 September

Sabater: Portobello to resume sale process at the end of the year

The Spanish private equity firm Portobello Capital is planning to put Ramon Sabater on the block before the year ends, two sources close to the situation said.  

Portobello hired Natixis to hold a sale process of Sabater, which produces spices, around September 2022. Natixis will handle the sale process again, one of the sources said. 

The new sale process will start in two or three months, the second source said. However, the sale process could kick off later, in 2024, after closing Sabater’s 2023 figures, the first source said. The sellside expects to close the deal before July 2024, this source added. 

Portobello is not in a hurry to sell Sabater after closing the sale of GrupoUno CTC, to Ranstad [AMS: RAND], and the sale of the network infrastructure business of Evolutio Group, the first source said.  

Sabater has a score of 63, according to Mergermarket's Likely to Exit (LTE) predictive algorithm.* This is weighted towards intelligence about the previous sale attempt and the time held. Portobello invested in 2016.

In the first sale process, the fund received interest from several private equity firms and strategic players and was close to selling Sabater to Japan-based Marubeni Corporation [TYO:8002], as reported in May.  

Sale talks were given up after Portobello asked Marubeni for an upward revision of its offer, which amounted to about EUR 250m, the Spanish press reported. The Japanese bid was based on around EUR 20m EBITDA figure, the second source said. The company forecasts now over EUR 30m EBITDA for this year, both sources said. Sabater had an initial EUR 24m EBITDA forecast for 2023, the Spanish press reported.  

After ending talks with Marubeni, Portobello has continued receiving approaches from financial investors interested in Sabater, the first source said. Sponsors or strategic players would be interested in the company, the second source added.  

Funds L-Gam, Stirling Square, KKR [NYSE: KKR], or the Singaporean industrial group Olam Food Ingredients [SGX:VC2] were named by the Spanish press as potential bidders in the first sale process. 

Portobello declined to comment. Natixis did not answer requests for comment. 

*Mergermarket's LTE predictive analytics assign a score to sponsor-backed companies to help track and predict when an exit could occur through M&A, an IPO, a direct listing or a deSPAC transaction.

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