ABB, Schneider Electric bid for General Electric unit -sources


Reuters

By Greg RoumeliotisApril 21 (Reuters) - European engineering groups ABB Ltd
<ABBN.S> and Schneider Electric SE <SCHN.PA> are competing for
General Electric Co's <GE.N> industrial solutions division,
which could fetch as much as $3 billion, according to people
familiar with the matter.
    The divestiture would represent a key step by GE to focus on
its core businesses and improve its operational performance,
amid pressure from Nelson Peltz's activist hedge fund Trian Fund
Management.
    ABB and Schneider Electric are through to the second round
of bidding for GE's industrial solutions business, a provider of
primarily electrical equipment, the sources said this week.
Schneider Electric is looking for a partner to break up the
business should its bid prevail, in order to address any
antitrust concerns, the sources added.
    Private equity firms, including KKR & Co LP <KKR.N>, Clayton
Dubilier & Rice LLC, Warburg Pincus LLC and Onex Corp <ONEX.TO>,
are also in the running, according to the sources.
    The sources asked not to be identified because details of
the sale process are confidential. Schneider Electric declined
to comment, while GE, ABB, KKR, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Warburg
Pincus and Onex did not immediately respond to requests for
comment.
    GE reported quarterly sales and adjusted earnings results on
Friday that beat analysts estimates, but its shares fell on
concerns about some of its industrial businesses. [nL3N1HT3QI]
    The maker of jet engines, power plants and other industrial
equipment also reported a negative $1.6 billion in cash flow
from industrial operating activities compared with a negative
$600 million it expected for the quarter due to a $1.3 billion
increase in working capital and the timing of bills to
customers.
    Last month, GE agreed to sell its industrial water treatment
business to French waste and water group Suez SA <SEVI.PA> and
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for 3.2 billion euros
($3.4 billion). [nL5N1GL5WQ]

 (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Tom
Brown)
 ((Greg.Roumeliotis@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6022; Reuters
Messaging: greg.roumeliotis.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: GE M&A/INDUSTRIALSOLUTIONS



This article appears in: World Markets , Stocks , Economy , Technology
Referenced Symbols: ABBN , GE , KKR , SCHN , SEVI


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