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Qualitas Said to Hire Lazard for $332 Million Garnica Sale (1)

September 16, 2013

Qualitas Equity Partners SA, the private-equity owner of Spain’s Grupo Garnica Plywood SA, has appointed advisers for a possible sale of the firm, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Qualitas, a Madrid-based buyout firm founded in 2003, has picked Lazard Ltd. (LAZ:US) for a possible sale of the plywood manufacturer, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The unit is valued at as much as 250 million euros ($332 million), they said.

Grupo Garnica, which was backed by Qualitas in a management buyout in 2006, exports more than 75 percent of its plywood production to markets outside its home base including Germany, France, Portugal, Italy and the U.K., according to the buyout firm’s website. The company, with earnings before interest, tax and amortization of more than 20 million euros last year, is attracting interest from both private-equity firms and industry buyers, the people said.

A spokeswoman for Lazard, based in London, declined to comment, while a spokesman for Grupo Garnica did not respond to e-mailed requests seeking comment. Officials at Qualitas in Madrid declined to comment.

Private-equity firms typically pool money from pension plans and endowments with a mandate to buy companies within five to six years, then sell them and return the money and a profit after 10 years. The firms usually charge a management fee of as much as 2 percent and keep 20 percent of the profits from investments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kiel Porter in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at

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