Schott expects bids for solar ops in February - source

FRANKFURT Fri Feb 8, 2013 9:23am EST

FRANKFURT Feb 8 (Reuters) - German glass maker Schott expects tentative bids for a majority stake of its solar thermal unit within the next two weeks, a source familiar with the sale said, as the group aims to draw a line under a fruitless expansion into the once booming segment.

Schott has mandated BNP Paribas to look for a partner to take the industrial lead at its Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) operations, hoping for better chances in winning contracts in giant solar projects like Saudi Arabia's $100 billion investment plan.

"For the development of our technology we are in principle open for a cooperation with partners and are receiving positive responses from different regions," a Schott spokesman said, adding the Schott group always considered all options to successfully develop its business.

BNP declined to comment. (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Additional reporting by Frank Siebelt; Editing by Martin Zwiebelberg)