FRANKFURT, April 3 Two buyout groups have made
final offers for the heat exchangers division of German
industrial machinery and process engineering group GEA
, one of which could be picked for exclusive talks
within days, three people familiar with the matter said.
EQT, which is working with industrial services group
Bilfinger, and private equity investor Triton handed
in bids valuing the unit at about 1.2-1.3 billion euros
($1.65-$1.8 billion) by a Friday deadline, the people said.
"However, the headline price does not give you the complete
picture because almost a third of the unit's roughly 1.5 billion
euros in sales is project-business, which comes with
guarantees," one of the people said.
Some of the risk from these guarantees may wind up staying
with the seller, potentially inflating the sales price, he
GEA, EQT, Bilfinger and Triton all declined to comment.
The heat exchangers division, GEA's second-largest business
by revenue but last year defined as non-core, makes equipment
for a wide range of applications from air conditioning to
In the consortium comprising Bilfinger and EQT, the
industrial services group is interested in acquiring the cooling
towers activities, while the buyout group would take the rest.
Triton acquired the heat exchanger business of Alstom
earlier this week. But sources familiar with the
transaction said the GEA and Alstom units are so different that
few benefits would be gained by merging them.
($1 = 0.7263 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Hugh Lawson)