Apax buying Advantage Sales from BofA, JW Childs

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – Private equity firm Apax Partners LLP (APAX.UL: ) said on Thursday that funds it is advising have agreed to buy a majority stake in marketing agency Advantage Sales & Marketing (ADSAM.UL: ) from buyout firm J.W. Childs Associates LP and a unit of Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: ).

The companies did not disclose terms of the deal. But a Bloomberg report earlier in the day estimated the transaction to be worth $1.8 billion, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Apax and ASM said they expect the deal to close by the end of 2010. ASM’s leadership team will continue to manage the company’s day-to-day operations after the deal closes.

ASM, which helps market products, process orders and display products on store shelves and serves clients such as Kroger (KR.N: ) and Unilever (ULVR.L: ), estimated its 2010 revenues at about $1 billion.

ASM generated earnings before tax, interest and amortization of $180 million this year, according to the person cited by Bloomberg.

In a statement, Apax partner Alex Pellegrini said ASM was well positioned to take advantage of growing outsourcing of marketing efforts by consumer products companies and a greater emphasis on in-store marketing.

ASM CEO Sonny King said Apax’s expertise in retail would help create opportunities for growth.

In March, Apax sold fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger to Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH.N: ), owner of the Calvin Klein brand, for $3 billion in a cash-and-stock deal.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Walker Simon and Jan Paschal)

Apax buying Advantage Sales from BofA, JW Childs