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KKR mandates banks for defence supplier Hensoldt's IPO - sources

By Arno Schuetze and Abhinav Ramnarayan

By Arno Schuetze and Abhinav Ramnarayan

FRANKFURT, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Private equity firm KKR is advancing with preparations for a stock market flotation of German defence supplier Hensoldt in a deal potentially valuing the company at more than 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), people close to the matter said.

The buyout group is working with JP Morgan and Bank of America on potentially listing 20-30% of the company on the Frankfurt stock exchange, in a deal that could take place in the second quarter of 2020, they said.

KKR and the banks declined to comment or had no immediate comment.

People close to the matter told Reuters last month that KKR was preparing for a stock market flotation or sale of Hensoldt.

The investor bought Airbus's defence electronics business for 1.1 billion euros in 2016 and later rebranded it Hensoldt, naming it after a 19th century German maker of binoculars and telescopes.

The business comprises military sensors, electronic warfare equipment, avionics and optronics. It employs 4,400 staff and has annual sales of 1.1 billion euros.

Hensoldt's high-tech cameras are used in products including Tornado fighter jets that fly surveillance missions over Syria and Iraq, while it also supplies radars for Eurofighter jets as well as periscopes for submarines and Leopard and Puma tanks.

The company also supplies identification systems for combat jets, night vision devices, radars for civil air traffic control and systems for civil and military efforts to counter drones.

($1 = 0.9062 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Mark Potter)