The industrial services business of German engineering group Voith has attracted the interest of private equity in a potential 350 million euro ($371.4 million) deal, two people familiar with the matter said.
DBAG, Triton, Sun Capital and Rhone Capital are expected to hand in final bids before Christmas for the company that employs 18,000 staff in maintenance and assembly services for the auto, energy and chemicals industries, they said.
Unlisted Voith group is seeking to catch up with a rapid technological shift in the manufacturing sector from mechanical and electrical to digital systems.
It wants to focus on the so-called Industrial Internet, through which traditional supply chains are being turned into business networks capable of capitalising on the latest digital trends.
The industrial services divestment would free up capital for planned investments.
The business being sold posted sales of 1.2 billion euros last year and had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 38 million euros, or 45 million euros excluding certain one-offs.
Voith and buyout group DBAG, Triton and Sun Capital declined to comment. Rhone Capital was not immediately available for comment.