Private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR & Co. are among the suitors selected for the next round of bidding for Fujitsu Ltd.’s majority stake in its air-conditioner manufacturing unit, according to people familiar with the matter.
Nibe Industrier AB, a Swedish maker of heat pumps and air conditioners, is also advancing in the process for a 42 per cent stake in Fujitsu General Ltd., the people said. Fujitsu is seeking binding offers for the Tokyo-listed unit by the end of March, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Shares of Fujitsu General have jumped more than 53 per cent in the past 12 months, valuing the company at about ¥415 billion ($3 billion). Fujitsu’s 42 per cent stake is worth about $1.3 billion.
Some of the prospective suitors that have dropped out could team up with remaining bidders, one of the people said. Deliberations are ongoing and the companies could decide against making offers, they said.
Fujitsu is considering various options to maximize the value of Fujitsu General and nothing has been decided at the moment, a representative for the company said in response to a Bloomberg News query. The firm declined to comment on potential bidders. Representatives for Bain, KKR and Nibe declined to comment.
Fujitsu, which in its heyday made everything from laptops and supercomputers to chips, mobile phones and home appliances, has hived off much of its consumer product lineup to focus on communications and information technology systems for businesses. The company is aiming for a quick sale of its entire stake in the air-conditioning maker as it sheds non-core operations like its peers Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp.