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Alipes launches sale of Nordic optician group Synsam: sources

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The owners of Nordic optician chain Synsam are launching a sale of the company which could fetch around 500 million euros, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The people, who are corporate finance advisors, said on Wednesday that information about the firm will be sent to potential buyers within days.

They said international private equity firms were likely to be interested in Synsam, but that local players EQT and Nordic Capital might also consider bidding for it.

One of the M&A specialists said buyout firms Lion Capital, Cinven, Advent, Bain, KKR and Blackstone could be interested.

"They are big players with money to spend, an interest in the region and know the optics business," the person said.

Another adviser said anti-trust issues meant that Britain's Specsavers and Synoptik, controlled by Dutch investment firm HAL Trust, were unlikely to be allowed to buy Synsam.

Alipes, an investment firm sponsored by Ikano and Inter IKEA and one of Synsam's main owners, said it had appointed advisers to evaluate a sale, but declined to comment further.

Inter IKEA and Ikano are controlled by the Kamprad family, which also controls IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer.

"We can confirm that the owners of Synsam Nordic have appointed Goldman Sachs and Nordea to evaluate strategic options for the company, where a sale is one of the options," said Richard Silen, partner at Alipes.

No decision to sell the company has been taken, he said, although it will be sold at some stage. "It is too early to speculate about when and to whom," Silen added.

Goldman Sachs and Nordea declined to comment.

Synsam had sales of close to 3 billion Swedish crowns ($449 million) in the 12 months to June this year, and an EBITDA of more than 425 milllion crowns, Alipes said. ($1 = 6.6889 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Sven Nordenstam, additional reporting by Mia Shanley; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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