FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Airbus (AIR.PA) is making a fresh attempt to sell supplier PFW Aerospace, which it acquired in 2011 to avoid an insolvency of the maker of precision tubes and components, sources close to the matter said.
The German company was always seen as a temporary part of Airbus, and the sale indicates that concerns about this part of the planemaker’s supply chain have eased.
After failing to sell the supplier in 2015, the sources said Airbus was poised to launch a new auction in the autumn for the company, which may be valued at 500-600 million euros ($582-$698 mln).
Investment bank Lazard (LAZ.N) has been brought in to organize the deal, the sources said.
Airbus and Lazard declined to comment.
The planned divestiture comes as Airbus and its rival Boeing are concerned global trade tensions could deter airlines from buying jetliners, although geopolitical uncertainty has allowed the two companies to sell more weapons.
At this week’s Farnborough Airshow, the world’s largest planemakers repeated last year’s comparable haul of around 900 orders, but the tally was overshadowed by some 400 deals where the names of the buyers were withheld.
PFW has its origins in a German airplane manufacturer Pfalz-Flugzeugwerke, which produced military airplanes in both world wars. It later became part of Deutsche Aerospace Airbus, before it was sold first to its staff and then in 2001 to buyout firm Safeguard, which still owns a minority stake.
In Airbus’ earlier bid to sell the company in 2015, the business attracted interest from Eaton (ETN.N), Parker (PH.N), Total’s Hutchinson (TOTF.PA) as well as buyout groups such as Bridgepoint, Bregal and Liberty Hall. None were willing to meet Airbus’ asking price at the time.
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Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Edmund Blair