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Investment groups eye Bombardier units

June 2, 2003
Filed under Features

More than two dozen firms from around the world have expressed an interest in purchasing Bombardier’s Recreational Products Division, the company said, and “close to 30” companies will receive a confidential information package providing details to help the companies put together their bids.
From this group, Bombardier expects to prepare a short list of about five bidders, the company said, and it expects to select a final potential buyer as soon as July.
The company did not release the names of any of the potential purchasers. No talks with any potential buyer have been held, according to a company representative.
Published reports have indicated that several large private-equity firms are interested in looking at the Bombardier situation. The firms include Blackstone Group LP, which reportedly manages a buyout fund of more than $6.4 billion; Thomas H. Lee Partners with a fund of about $6 billion; and Texas Pacific Group.
Bombardier has said it intends to sell the profitable operation as a unit, adding that it would not sell it to a competitor such as Polaris or Yamaha because of potential antitrust difficulties.
Recreational Products produces Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and Bombardier ATV products. It also produces Johnson and Evinrude outboard engines.
Meanwhile, the founding Bombardier family has repeated its intent to bid on the business it began in 1942, when Joseph-Armand Bombardier incorporated the company. “We’ll make a proposition before May 27,” according to a report by Reuters news service.

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