By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
Bloomberg News reports that Gardner Denver Inc.,has attracted the interest of a potential buyer as it works toward a Feb. 21 deadline for purchase offers.
CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC, is a private-equity firm which makes money by buying companies that are expected to experience growth either through improving markets or restructuring.
CCMP, spun out by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2006, may be willing to buy all or part of the company, people who asked not to be named because talks are private told Bloomberg. Advent International Corp., which had been negotiating with Gardner Denver since November, has grown less interested and may only consider an offer if the other bids fail, they said.
Private-equity firms KKR and the team of TPG-Onex Corp., remain interested in making bids for Gardner Denver.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is advising Gardner Denver, which is headquartered in Wayne, Pa. Goldman Sachs has called for purchase offers to be in within nine days.
Gardner Denver has an estimated value of $3 billion. Its stock started trading at $68.65 on Tuesday.
Private-equity firms, which had considered bids of $73 to $75 a share late last year, don't want to pay more than that now, according to two anonymous sources who were familiar with the talks. SPX Corp. had planned to bid $85 per share for Gardner Denver last year before it was unable to get the loan terms it sought.
Vikram Kini, a spokesman for Gardner Denver, has refused to comment on purchase talks or the layoffs of more than 30 people from the Quincy factory in January.
Gardner Denver employs about 300 people in Quincy, manufacturing industrial machines such as pumps and machines used in the petroleum sector and for other industrial purposes.
Talks of a sale or merger began July 28 after ValueAct Capital recommended a sale to boost shareholder profits. ValueAct made its suggestion to the board of directors after what it called the "surprising resignation" of Gardner Denver CEO Barry Pennypacker on July 16.
Chief Financial Officer Michael Larsen was named CEO since Pennypacker's departure.
Gardner Denver announced in August that it would shut down some of its European manufacturing facilities and trim its work force to reduce costs. That move came after the company reported a 36 percent drop in orders for the company's engineered products division -- mostly petroleum and industrial pumps -- during the second quarter.
CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC, has been known by several names since it was founded in 1984 as Chemical Venuture Partners, a unit of Chemical Bank. Chemical Bank merged with Chase Manhattan Bank in 1996, and Chase then merged with JPMorgan in 2000. The investment professionals of JP Morgan Partners separated from JPMorgan Chase on July 31, 2006, and CCMP was formed.
The firm has invested more than $13 billion in buyout and growth equity transactions since 1984, focusing primarily on consumer/retail, industrial, energy and healthcare. CCMP has offices in New York, London and The Woodlands, Texas.