Eurazeo in exclusive talks to sell B&B Hotels to Carlyle for at least €485 million

French private equity firm Eurazeo said over the weekend that it is in exclusive talks to sell its B&B Hotels chain that operates 215 budget hotels in Europe to US rival the Carlyle Group.

''The transaction is being considered on the basis of enterprise value to estimated closing €485 million'' ($633 million), Paris-based Eurazeo said in a statement.

Eurazeo, France's largest publicly traded private equity firm, said,'' This exclusivity is for a period of a short duration that will end before the end of next week and may be renewed if certain financing conditions of the transaction are met.''

If the deal goes through, Carlyle would become the third private company owning B&B in five years after Eurazeo acquired it from London-based Duke Street Capital in 2005 for an undisclosed sum,

B&B is France's third-biggest budget hotel group with 215 hotels having a total of 16,162 rooms in France, Germany and Italy and is expanding its chain to Poland, Portugal and Italy.

Since acquiring B&B in 2005, Eurazeo has doubled the number of hotels from 117 to 215.

Eurazeo had also received bids for B&B from other private equity firms like Bridgepoint Capital Limited, LBO France and Starwood Capital Group, but Carlyle's bid was the most attractive, according to media reports.