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Bosch in talks to sell packaging unit to buyout firm CVC - source

Bosch in talks to sell packaging unit to buyout firm CVC - source
FILE PHOTO: A Bosch sign is seen in a company building in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, Germany July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle -
Michaela Rehle(Reuters)
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Car parts maker Bosch [ROBG.UL] is in advanced talks to sell its packaging machinery business to buyout firm CVC [CVC.UL] in a deal valuing the company at up to 850 million euros ($959 million), a person close to the matter said.

The investor beat the competition in a process launched more than a year ago. Italian engineering group Coesia, German industrial holding Koerber as well as private equity firms KKR and Bain had also handed in final bids by a mid-June deadline, several people close to the matter had said.

Bosch and CVC declined to comment on the deal, which was earlier flagged by the Wall Street Journal.

Bosch put the business on the block as part of a portfolio overhaul which will see it emphasise electric and autonomous car technologies.

The Bosch business, which competes with Italy’s IMA <IMAI.MI>, makes machines for pharmaceuticals and food packaging, employs 6,100 staff and has revenues of about 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion).

The car industry and its suppliers have come under pressure to accelerate investment in electric and self-driving vehicle technologies, following a regulatory crackdown on diesel.

The packaging industry has seen a wave of consolidation in recent years with private equity groups being drawn to the stable cash flows of the firms, which tend to grow in line with gross domestic product, and who have so far seen limited impact from the debate about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

Last week, Aurelius sold packaging maker Solidus to Centerbridge for 330 million euros.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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