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BC Partners sounds out potential Asian buyers for German transformer maker SGB -sources

FRANKFURT, April 15 (Reuters) - Buyout group BC Partners is sounding out potential buyers for its German power transformer maker SGB-SMIT, four years after a sale to China's State Grid was halted by political intervention, three people familiar with the matter said.

Information packages have been sent out to prospective buyers mainly in Asia, the sources said, but a formal auction has not yet been launched. They did not say how many companies had been approached.

Goldman Sachs, which organised the 2012 auction, is expected to handle the sale again, which may not be concluded until 2017 to allow for an increase in SGB's 2016 operational performance to be reflected in valuations, said the three sources, who declined to be named because the matter is confidential.

BC Partners and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

At the time, China's dominant state power grid builder and operator State Grid had been in exclusive talks to buy SGB but then failed to get political backing for a deal as China's National Development and Reform Commission had considered the sector to be suffering from overcapacity.

SGB posted 57.8 million euros ($65 million) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization on sales of 600 million euros in 2014, the latest available data.

Originally, SGB Starkstrom was part of Germany's second-biggest utility, RWE. It was sold to private equity group HCP Capital Group in 2004 and then to BC Partners in 2008 for roughly 500 million euros in an all-equity deal, sources said previously.

While BC Partners is mulling an exit from SGB, it is pursuing other potential investments in Germany.

It was shortlisted in a sale of privately held healthcare group Dermapharm, but that sale was put on ice on Wednesday on a disagreement on price.

($1 = 0.8861 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Alexander Hübner; Editing by Susan Fenton)