July 30, 2018 / 8:42 AM / 15 days ago

Bosch mandates Macquarie to explore sale of packaging business: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German auto supplier Bosch [ROBG.UL] has mandated investment bank Macquarie to explore options for its packaging machinery unit as part of a portfolio overhaul to push electric and autonomous car technologies, people close to the matter said.

The unit could fetch a valuation at 500-700 million euros ($583-$815 million) in a potential sale, the sources added.

The car industry and its suppliers have come under pressure to accelerate investment into electric and self-driving vehicle technologies, following a regulatory crackdown aimed at curbing diesel emissions.

Bosch was not immediately available for comment while Macquarie declined to comment.

The Bosch unit makes machines for pharmaceuticals and food packaging, employs 6,100 staff and last year posted 1.3 billion euros in revenue.

The sales process is unlikely to start this year, since the unit, which competes with Italy’s IMA (IMAI.MI), still needs to be carved out, they said.

Bosch said last month that it would look for a buyer for the unit, which had two difficult years, battling strong competition, adding that it expected growing demand for the business.

Bosch sold its brakes business to KPS Capital in 2012 and its starter motors and generators business to Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery last year.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; editing by Jason Neely

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