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Advent to sell 45 pct stake in Spanish explosives firm Maxam - sources

MADRID, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Private equity company Advent has hired Morgan Stanley to sell its 45 percent stake in Spanish explosives manufacturer Maxam, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The transaction could value the company, founded in 1872 by Alfred Nobel, at up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion), the sources said.

Advent plans to raise up to 675 million euros from the sale of its stake, equivalent to a multiple of 8 to 10 times Maxam's core profit (EBITDA), based on the valuations of other comparable companies in the sector, they said.

Advent and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Listed competitors such as Australia's Oryca trade at a multiple of about 8.5 times 2016 EBITDA.

When Advent first bought a stake in Maxam in 2011, the Spanish manufacturer booked core profit of 113 million euros, which rose to 146 million euros in 2016.

"The sale aims to attract financial and industrial investors," the source said, adding the company's managing team and owner, the Sanchez Junco family, would remain major shareholders.

The market had recently been speculating about an initial public offering (IPO) but key shareholders were not in favour, the sources said.

Maxam has industrial facilities in more than 45 countries, 6,500 employees and made 1.05 billion euros in revenue in 2016.

($1 = 0.8491 euros) (Reporting by Andrés González; Writing by Jesús Aguado; Editing by Isla Bennie and mark Potter)