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Exclusive: CVC nears a deal to buy AlixPartners: sources

By Soyoung Kim and Greg Roumeliotis

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is nearing a deal to buy restructuring and consulting firm AlixPartners for more than $1 billion, according to several people familiar with the matter.

CVC has recently beaten out other buyout firms, including Madison Dearborn Partners and Providence Equity Partners, in the race to buy AlixPartners from private equity owner Hellman & Friedman, the sources said.

A deal for AlixPartners could be announced as early as Monday, one of the sources said.

Also, other sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that Hellman & Friedman is in the advanced stage of shopping AlixPartners and being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs Group on the process.

Representatives for CVC Capital, Hellman & Friedman, AlixPartners and Bank of America Merrill Lynch declined to comment. Goldman Sachs, Madison Dearborn and Providence had no immediate comment.

Southfield, Michigan-based AlixPartners, founded by Jay Alix in 1981, competes in the restructuring and bankruptcy space with specialists such as FTI Consulting and Alvarez and Marsal, as well as the turnaround practices of major consulting firms including McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co.

AlixPartners' recent high-profile assignments have included advising General Motors Co on its ongoing restructuring of the loss-making European Opel unit.

With some 900 professionals around the world, the firm has also worked on Chapter 11 reorganizations of firms such as Enron, General Growth Properties and Eastman Kodak .

Hellman & Friedman led a leveraged recapitalization of AlixPartners about six years ago, and acquired a majority stake together with the company's employees.

The San Francisco-based private equity firm did not disclose financial terms at that time, but said the transaction puts the total enterprise value of the firm in excess of $800 million.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim and Greg Roumeliotis; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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