(Adds valuation, company details)
By Freya Berry and Mike Stone
LONDON/NEW YORK, May 27 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Warburg Pincus is exploring a sale of UK survival equipment company Survitec and is looking at launching a process this year, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
A deal could give the company a valuation in excess of 500 million pounds ($840 million), according to an industry source. Goldman Sachs is the frontrunner for the mandate, two of the sources said.
Survitec provides survival products from lifejackets to anti-gravity suits to the marine, aviation and defence industries among others.
The process is still at an early stage and no decisions have yet been made, although both strategic and private equity options are being explored, one of the sources said.
Warburg Pincus bought Survitec in 2010 from private equity group Montagu for 280 million pounds ($471 million).
Warburg Pincus declined to comment.
$1 = 0.5952 British Pounds Editing by Alex Smith and David Evans