By ALEX WEBB, KIEL PORTER and AARON KIRCHFELD
GEA Group is nearing an agreement to sell its heat-exchangers
unit to private-equity firm Triton Advisers as it seeks to
focus on food- processing equipment, according to people
familiar with the situation.
Triton won the bidding process after offering more than 1
billion euros ($1.4 billion) and an agreement may be
announced as early as Tuesday, said the people, who asked not
to be named as the matter is not public yet. Representatives
for Triton and Dusseldorf, Germany-based GEA declined to
GEA, founded in 1881 as a metals-trading company and today a
manufacturer of milking machines and beer-brewing kit, saw
orders decline in Europe
and the Americas last year.
The heat-exchangers division, which had 2013 earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 161 million
euros on sales of 1.5 billion euros, sells applications for
air conditioning and chemical plants.
Triton, which invests in medium-sized businesses in northern
, on April 1 agreed to buy a
steam auxiliary components business for 730 million euros
from Frances Alstom.
That business, which makes air preheaters and gas-gas heaters
for thermal power plants as well as heat transfer technology
processes, generated 430 million euros in revenue and a
double-digit operating margin in the most recent
Triton raised about 3.5 billion euros for its fourth pool of
capital, Triton Fund IV LP, in 2013.
The companies in Tritons portfolio, which range from
German fertilizer-maker Compo to Danish chemical tanker
operator Nordic Tankers, have combined sales of about 13
billion euros and more than 55,000 employees, according to
the companys website.