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Philips appoints Morgan Stanley for lighting unit sale, say sources-Reuters

(Reuters) – Philips has picked Morgan Stanley to organize the sale of a stake in its lighting components business, which it is carving out as part of a strategic reshuffling, three people familiar with the matter said.

The Dutch company said last month that it would set up the unit by merging its light-emitting diodes (LEDs) business Lumileds and its automotive lighting businesses, which have combined sales of about $1.8 billion.

Philips has already received interest from private equity players. The process, which is due to kick off after the summer, may or may not lead to a stake sale to financial investors, the people said, adding that all options are currently still on the table including a stock market listing.

Investors such as KKR, Advent, EQT, CVC, Cinven, Clayton Dubilier & Rice are expected to bid for the asset, they said.

Profit figures of the unit set to be spun off have not been made public but one of the sources indicated that the margin of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) over sales was roughly 20 percent.

Philips, Morgan Stanley and the potential bidders declined to comment.