By Liana B. Baker
(Reuters) - TouchTunes Interactive Networks, a digital jukebox company that lets customers pick songs they want to hear in restaurants and bars, is exploring a sale that could fetch roughly $500 million, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
TouchTunes, whose investors include British private equity firm 3i and venture capital firm VantagePoint Capital Partners, is working with investment bank Moelis & Co to help find a buyer, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is not public.
TouchTunes, which is run by veteran music executive Charles Goldstuck, a former president of BMG, has its digital juke boxes in 73,000 bars and restaurants in North America and Europe. It also makes apps where users can search for jukebox locations and control the music in venues through their phones.
Founded in 1998, the company has licenses to play songs from major music labels such as Universal Music Group, EMI and Sony Music, according to its website.
In Midtown Manhattan, its technology can be found in restaurants such as Applebee's. It also sells karaoke for its juke boxes and sells software that lets restaurant customers use tablets at their tables to order food and drinks.
There is probably no strategic buyer for the company so it will likely be sold to a private equity firm, one of the people said.
The company generates between $40 million and $50 million earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and could sell for roughly 10 to 12 times that amount, one of the people said.
A spokeswoman for Moelis declined to comment, while a representative from TouchTunes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)