June 21, 2012 / 8:13 AM / 6 years ago

KKR puts $1.8billion Australia Bis Industries up for sale: sources

HONG KONG/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Buyouts firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) has put up for sale Australia’s Bis Industries Ltd, a business valued at around $1.8 billion ($1.8 billion) including debt, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

KKR, which faces a June 2013 deadline to repay A$905 million in loans it used to buy the company in 2006, has opened a data room for prospective buyers, sources added. The global private equity fund has been in discussions with commercial banks to refinance the debt, said the sources, who declined to be named as discussions were private.

Sydney-based Bis Industries has operations in coal mining, steel and iron ore and provides a range of logistics and distribution services, according to its website.

KKR declined comment.

With IPO markets frozen and buyers in short supply, private equity funds are being forced to hold assets longer than the usual three to five years. The debt used to fund these deals usually expires after five years and now needs to be refinanced at more expensive rates.

Basis Point reported KKR’s plan to sell Bis on Wednesday.

Reporting by Stephen Aldred and Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Denny Thomas

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