,Australia

Lazard Australia to sell stake in Scottish Pacific

Lazard Australia Private Equity is entertaining offers for its stake in Scottish Pacific Debtor Finance.

The business was projected to deliver fiscal 2013 earnings before interest and tax of about $15 million. A conservative multiple of seven times could fetch $105 million, sources said.

Indicative bids are due on March 4, with a preferred buyer likely to be selected by April.

Three unsolicited approaches were received, including a bid from FlexiGroup.

Lazard Australia Private Equity bought a stake of more than 80 percent in Scottish Pacific in May 2010 alongside its management.

The company provides debtor finance to small to medium enterprises with annual sales of up to $200m.

It has operations throughout Australia and New Zealand, and growth in its trade finance division has resulted in expansion into China, where it employs two staff at present.

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