Exclusive: Buyout firms eye Yankee Candle in $2 billion deal - sources

Fri Apr 5, 2013 9:19am EDT
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By Greg Roumeliotis and Soyoung Kim

(Reuters) - Yankee Candle Co Inc has attracted offers from several private equity firms in a sale process that could value the largest scented candle maker in the United States at about $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Bain Capital LLC, Advent International Corp, CVC Capital Partners Ltd CVC.UL, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC and Ares Management LLC have made it through the first round of bidding and are set to meet with Yankee Candle's management over the next few weeks, the sources said.

Madison Dearborn Partners LLC MDPRT.UL, another buyout firm, acquired Yankee Candle in 2006 for $1.6 billion.

The candle manufacturer may be worth 10 times its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around $200 million, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is confidential.

Madison Dearborn, Bain Capital, Advent, CVC and Ares declined to comment. Yankee Candle and CD&R did not respond to requests for comment.

Founded in 1969, Yankee Candle sells items including scented candles, home fragrance products, car fresheners and candle accessories.

The South Deerfield, Massachusetts-based company sells its candles in North America through 569 company-owned and operated retail stores, a wholesale network of about 27,800 store locations, as well as online and through its catalog.

Fitch Ratings said in January that Yankee Candle's relatively flat financial performance had constrained its ability to lighten its heavy debt load.   Continued...