GE eyes German medium-sized acquisition by year-end

FRANKFURT Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:15am EDT

The logo of the GE Money Bank is seen behind a traffic light in Prague May 29, 2012. REUTERS/David W Cerny

The logo of the GE Money Bank is seen behind a traffic light in Prague May 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/David W Cerny

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) aims to buy a medium-sized business in Germany in the next six months to expand its technological footprint, German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing a manager at the U.S. conglomerate.

"We hope to have managed a takeover by the end of the year," the paper cited Christoph Reimnitz, in charge of strategy and M&A in Germany and eastern Europe, as saying in an article published on Saturday.

He did not provide details on possible acquisition targets but said he preferred buying family-owned businesses to takeovers of stock-listed companies or assets put up for sale by private equity firms.

GE commonly spends about $5 billion to $6 billion a year on acquisitions. Reimnitz declined to say how much of that could go toward purchases in Germany this year but told the newspaper "this market is in the company's focus now".

He said possible targets were currently fairly valued, adding valuations could decline if the economy weakened again later in the year.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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