NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - Canadian privately held broadband provider Xplornet Communications Inc has hired two investment banks to explore a potential sale that could value the company at C$2 billion ($1.55 billion), including debt, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Xplornet, based in New Brunswick, is working with UBS Group AG and Bank of Montreal to assist it in the sales process, the sources added, asking not to be named because the matter is private.
Xplornet and UBS could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for Bank of Montreal declined to comment.
The sales process, which is in its early stages, could attract interest from private equity firms and infrastructure funds, the sources said.
The company generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $175 million last year and could sell at a multiple of 12 to 13 times that amount, according to the sources.
Xplornet serves more than 300,000 rural Canadians in areas that typically cannot be covered by regular wireless networks. It operates a hybrid network of fixed-wireless towers on the ground and next-generation satellites to reach remote regions. It was founded by two brothers, Bill and Ed Barrett, in 2004.
Xplornet's private owners include private equity firms Sandler Capital Management and Catalyst Investors. The firms did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
$1 = 1.2912 Canadian dollars Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York Editing by Tom Brown