Listed Kiwi infrastructure and utilities fund Infratil and private equity giant The Carlyle Group will fight it out on Friday when final bids are due for Transpacific Industries Group's $1 billion New Zealand business.
Infratil, which is taking counsel from local boutique Morrison & Co, and Credit Suisse-advised Carlyle have completed due diligence and are expected to lob unconditional offers.
The wild card in the Deutsche Bank-led auction is HSBC-backed Beijing Capital Group, while Transpacific is also hopeful of receiving a fourth bid.
Infratil is said to be gunning hard at the Kiwi garbage unit and has teamed up with powerful local body, the Accident Compensation Commission, and a handful of domestic funds with a view to keeping the asset in local hands.
Bidders have spent some time considering the competition environment, with growing concerns New Zealand is becoming more active against monopoly and duopoly industry structures.
Deal makers have already noted a far more vigilant stance on competition in the supermarkets and electricity sectors, and worry it could spread to the waste industry where Transpacific is one of only two major players.
Macquarie Capital-advised KKR & Co dropped out earlier in the process, as did Blackstone. Transpacific and Deutsche also met with institutional investors in late 2013, testing the appetite for a return to the New Zealand stock exchange.
The deal could still go to an initial public offering with the final decision to be made once offers are in.