Ardian to launch sale of loudspeaker maker d&b Audiotechnik -sources

Adds details, background

FRANKFURT, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Buyout group Ardian is preparing the sale of d&b Audiotechnik in a deal that may value the German professional loudspeaker maker at more than 600 million euros, people close to the matter said.

Ardian is expected to shortly mandate a sellside advisor to help it divest the company which was founded by entrepreneurs Juergen Daubert and Rolf Belz near Stuttgart in 1981, and which Ardian bought in 2016.

d&b Audiotechnik, which makes speakers for stadiums, concert halls and conference rooms is expected to post earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 45-50 million euros this year, two of the people said.

It could be valued at more than 12 times that, the multiple that Ardian paid when it acquired the company from peer investor Odewald, one of the people said.

Suppliers of speakers for consumers - such as Sony 6758.T, Panasonic 6752.T or Sharp 6753.T - trade at six to seven times expected core earnings, while makers of professional gear usually fetch significantly higher valuations, the people said.

d&b Audiotechnik competes with firms such as KKR-owned Pioneer DJ, which is currently also up for sale, according to media reports, as well as with Astorg-owned Audiotonix.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by Thomas Seythal and David Evans)

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