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Exclusive - Blackstone in talks to sell stake in camera maker Leica: sources

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Exclusive - Blackstone in talks to sell stake in camera maker Leica: sources

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By Arno Schuetze FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Buyout group Blackstone <BX.N> is speaking with potential buyers of its 45 percent stake in iconic high-end camera and sport optics maker Leica, people close to the matter said. The investor has teamed up with an investment bank to work out strategic options for the company and has already held talks with several potential acquirers, the people said, adding no official auction process was ongoing. Blackstone declined to comment. Any potential buyer will have to come to terms with Austria’s Kaufmann family, whose vehicle ACM owns a 55 percent stake in Leica and brought in Blackstone as a co-investor in 2011. “ACM has long-term goals with Leica Camera,” Leica Chairman and ACM managing director Andreas Kaufmann told Reuters, adding that his family’s definition of long-term was that of a 100-year horizon.

(Additional reporting by Julie Zhu, Dasha Afanasieva and Eric Auchard; Editing by Maria Sheahan)
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