PC--Siemens to sell water tech unit to private equity group -sources

Reuters

* AEA Investors in advanced talks to buy water unit -sources

* Siemens in advanced talks with Triton on postal unit-sources

* Receives final bids for wiring accessories unit -sources

FRANKFURT, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Siemens AG is inadvanced talks to sell its water technologies unit to privateequity group AEA Investors for about $800 million, two peoplefamiliar with the transaction said.

New-York based AEA beat private equity investor AmericanIndustrial Partners in the last round of the bidding, one of thesources said.

Siemens, which ranks as Germany's most-valuable company bymarket capitalisation and makes products ranging from trains tohearing aids, announced last November its intention to divestthe water technologies business.

The industrial conglomerate said at the time it wanted tofocus on its most profitable assets - its fossil powergeneration business, which makes gas turbines and power plants,and its industrial automation business.

It said the bulk of the water technologies unit operated ina highly fragmented market, serving municipal and industrialclients, and so had little in common with Siemens' global salessetup.

The unit offers products ranging from conventional watertreatment to emergency water supply and water disinfectionsystems.

It generated $1.3 billion in revenue in 2012, and accordingto estimates from bidders its earnings before interest, tax,depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was between $70 millionand $80 million.

The sources asked not to be identified because details ofthe auction are confidential.

Siemens built up the water unit by bolting together severalacquisitions over the last decade, including the water systemsand services division of U.S. Filter which it bought from VeoliaEnvironnement for $1 billion in 2004.

POSTAL AUTOMATION

Separately, Siemens is in advanced talks with private equityinvestor Triton on the sale of its postal automation andbaggage-handling division unit, after investor Sun Capitaldropped out of the bidding, two sources familiar with thattransaction said.

Triton is currently in talks with German state bank KfW over debt guarantees that suppliers of the industry'slarge machinery generally have to provide, the two sources said.These are to cover pre-installation performance guarantees andwarranties once the machines have started operating.

Another auction of a smaller Siemens unit is also at anadvanced stage.

Siemens has mandated HSBC to organise the sale of its wiringaccessories unit and several peers including ABB,Schneider, Legrand and Asian companies havealready handed in final bids valuing the company's equity anddebt at 150-200 million euros, two people familiar with thattransaction said.

Siemens declined to comment on the sale of its water techand postal automation unit. A company spokesman was notimmediately available to comment on the sale of the wiringaccessories unit.

Siemens financial adviser on the water unit sale is GoldmanSachs Group, according to the sources familiar with thattransaction.

Goldman Sachs declined to comment, as did AEA, Triton, KfW,ABB, LeGrand and HSBC.

Schneider, Sun Capital and American Industrial Partners werenot immediately available for comment.

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