Exclusive: Siemens mandates three banks for IPO of Healthineers unit - sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Siemens AG SIEGn.DE has mandated Goldman Sachs GS.N, Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE and JP Morgan JPM.N as lead organizers of an initial public offering (IPO) of its Healthineers unit, sources familiar with the matter said.

Siemens confirmed it had awarded so-called global coordinator mandates to banks to float the maker of medical equipment such as x-ray and MRI machines, but declined to name them. The banks declined to comment.

The share offering could be one of the largest by a German company in years. Analysts say the unit, the biggest contributor to Siemens’ third-quarter profit with a 9 percent increase to 579 million euros ($681 million), could be valued at up to 40 billion euros.

The stock market listing could take place in early summer next year, one of the sources said, adding the venue had not been decided, though New York, where several medical technology stocks are listed, is seen as having an edge over Frankfurt.

“The equity story of Healthineers will likely be that of a low-growth, low-risk dividend play with high, guaranteed dividends,” a person familiar with the company said.

Siemens is not in immediate need of cash and maximizing the proceeds is not the key target of the planned deal, people close to the matter said. They added that the size of the share sale may be rather small, and one said it may not exceed 20 percent.

The trains-to-turbines group wants Healthineers to have its own currency for acquisitions and investments as the global healthcare market shifts focus from Siemens’ core business of imaging to molecular diagnosis and patient self-management.

“An IPO of the Healthineers unit would enable Siemens to do share deals when looking at future acquisitions”, one of the people said.

Analysts have mentioned peers such as Varian VAR.N, Hologic HOLX.O, Agilent A.N and Accuray ARAY.O as potential takeover targets.

Siemens said in August that its long-awaited healthcare unit listing would come only next year and would take place in the first half of 2018.

Investors had been wondering about Siemens’ plans for the business since Chief Executive Joe Kaeser announced last November he planned some kind of listing but gave no details.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Huebner; Editing by Douglas Busvine and David Holmes