Provimi was bought by Permira Advisers in 2007 from private equity rivals CVC Capital partners and PAI Partners. The eventual sale of the company is expected to fetch more than €1.8 billion.
Some market experts say the animal feed business worldwide is fragmented and a candidate for consolidation. Only a third of the industry is owned by large international companies; the rest is owned by smaller firms, many of them family owned.
A second round of bidding is expected in about 6 weeks.