(Adds background, valuation)
By Arno Schuetze
FRANKFURT, Oct 16 (Reuters) - German technology group Freudenberg plans to float a minority stake in its Vibracoustic unit in 2019, people close to the matter said, in a deal which could value the business, making anti-vibration components for cars, at about 2 billion euros ($2.32 billion).
The company will pick an investment bank to lead the flotation in the coming weeks, the people said.
The IPO is expected as early as the second quarter of 2019.
A Freudenberg spokeswoman confirmed it is preparing an IPO of Vibracoustic. “The decision on the timing will depend on various internal and external factors, including the attractiveness of the capital markets (at a given time)”.
Freudenberg has said in the past it would remain an anchor investor with just over 50 percent after a possible public offer.
Vibracoustic makes anti-vibration components and modules, such as engine mounts and dampers and says it has a global market share in anti-vibration solutions for the car industry of 18 percent.
Privately-held Freudenberg bought the 50 percent of Vibracoustic it did not own in 2016 from joint venture partner Trelleborg. The state of capital markets at the time made an IPO impossible. Then the firm was valued at 1.8 billion euros, including debt.
Earlier this year, the company said it would decide by the end of 2018 whether to float Vibracoustic.
Vibracoustic, which employs roughly 10,000 people, last year posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 288 million euros ($334 million) on revenues of 2.1 billion. ($1 = 0.8615 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Alexandra Hudson)