Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten seeking buyers

Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten ASA has attracted interest from buyout firms EQT Partners AB, Bain Capital and TPG, according to people familiar with the situation.

The company’s owner, TDR Capital, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and ABG Sundal Collier Holding ASA to find a buyer, the people said, asking not to be named as the talks are private. The company expects to report earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 135 million euros ($153 million) this year, one of the people said.

The Norwegian business could fetch 12 to 14 times Ebitda, people familiar with the plans said previously. That would potentially value the company at 1.6 billion euros to 1.9 billion euros. No final decisions have been made and the valuation of the business could change, the people said.

Representatives for TDR, TPG, EQT, Bain and ABG Sundal declined to comment. A representative for Goldman Sachs didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hurtigruten was initially established in 1893 to improve shipping lines between the north and south of Norway. In 2014 TDR — alongside Periscopus AS and Home Capital AS — took the business private in a deal that valued it at 5.68 billion kroner ($700 million).

The private equity firm has since overhauled the company’s commercial infrastructure and website and begun refurbishing the existing fleet of ships and adding new travel destinations, people familiar with the matter have said. Hurtigruten offers travel along the Norwegian coast, as well as Arctic and Antarctic expedition cruises, according to its website.

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