Safran shortlists 5 bidders for Morpho -La Tribune

PARIS, June 30 (Reuters) - French aerospace group Safran , which is selling its Morpho biometrics and security business, has narrowed the field to a shortlist of five bidders including digital security rivals Gemalto and Oberthur, La Tribune reported on Thursday.

Besides SIM card maker Gemalto and Oberthur, which is backed by private equity firm Advent, the French daily said three other funds had been selected by Safran’s board on Thursday: KKR, Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners.

All five offers were worth approximately 2 billion euros ($2.2 bln), La Tribune said, adding that each bidder would be asked to follow up with a binding offer in September.

Safran declined comment.

The head of Safran, which is focusing on its aerospace business and offloading others, said last week it planned to eliminate some of the 12 initial contenders for Morpho before carrying out a second round of bidding in the autumn.

The French government owns 15.4 percent of the Paris-based company. ($1 = 0.9046 euros) (Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Susan Fenton)