FRANKFURT Jan 17 Swiss machinery manufacturer
Sulzer's has attracted offers from peer Oerlikon
as well as buyout group EQT for its coatings unit
Metco, three people familiar with the transaction said.
The bids handed in by a Friday deadline value Metco, the
world's largest maker of thermal spray coatings, catering to the
car, chemicals and energy industries, at about 800 million Swiss
francs ($883 million).
Russian tycoon Viktor Vekselberg owns a stake in both Sulzer
Sulzer's former chairman Manfred Wennemer, who is also an
advisor to EQT, resigned from his post at the Swiss group in
late December, citing personal reasons.
"My resignation at Sulzer has nothing to do with my role at
EQT and the potential sale of Metco to EQT or the Russian
(Vekselberg)," Wennemer told Reuters on Friday.
Sulzer is selling the Metco unit to concentrate on more
lucrative businesses making pumps and equipment and providing
services for the oil and gas industry.
Lenders are preparing debt packages of 560 million Swiss
francs to back EQT's bid, bankers familiar with the transaction
Initially the sale had attracted interest from a number of
strategic players like British Bodycote as well as from
several private equity firms.
An Oerlikon spokeswoman said she had nothing new to say on
EQT declined to comment while Sulzer was not immediately
available to comment.