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Apax Sells Advantage Sales to Leonard Green, CVC

LONDON (The Deal) -- London private equity shop Apax Partners LLP is selling it majority holding in outsourced sales and services company Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC to New York peer Leonard Green & Partners LP and European buyout house CVC Capital Partners Group for more than $4 billion, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The deal announced late Monday, June 16, did not disclose terms. But Apax, which bought the business for an enterprise value of $1.8 billion in December 2010, made a return of 4 times its money on the investment and an internal rate of return percentage "in the high forties."

The deal comes at the end of what the source said was a highly competitive auction process, run by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Securities LLC. Members of ASM's senior management will maintain a significant equity interest.

ASM, of Irvine, Calif., serves manufacturers of consumer goods and retailers across multiple channels and is expected to have 2014 revenue of about $1.6 billion. It has grown significantly since Apax acquired it from J.W. Childs Associates LP and BAML Capital Partners through M&A and international expansion. Among its acquisitions were food industry specialists Waypoint LLC and Tri-Venture Marketing Inc, Program Sales Inc. and Pryority Food Marketing Inc.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. are providing financing for the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan and a Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP legal team, led by Ann Beth Stebbins advising ASM. CVC is advised by Morgan Stanley and law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Leonard Green's legal advice is from Latham & Watkins LLP.

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