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Report: PE firms, BlackRock among potential bidders for France's Webhelp

Several buyout firms including Paris-based Eurazeo SE, New York City-based Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC and London-based CVC Capital Partners Ltd. are making takeover bids for European call center operator Webhelp SAS, the Financial Times reported.

People familiar with the sale process told the publication that Eurazeo has partnered with New York-based investment firm Rhone Capital LLC to make an indicative offer, and asset management giant BlackRock Inc. is also submitting a bid. Belgian investor Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA is reportedly also among the prospective bidders.

New York City-headquartered private equity firm KKR & Co. is selling the €2 billion business, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Baird serving as advisers. A sale is anticipated to close by mid-July, according to the report.

KKR took control of Paris-based Webhelp less than five years ago. Other private equity firms that had held a stake in the business were Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP, Astorg Partners and Equistone Partners Europe, formerly known as Barclays Private Equity Ltd.

Webhelp will still be run by founders Frédéric Jousset and Olivier Duha regardless of the new owners, the publication wrote.

Eurazeo, Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, Clayton, BlackRock and Webhelp did not comment on the matter, according to the FT.