BTR Siebe is believed to be ready to sell its automotive and specialist engineering businesses, most of which were formerly part of BTR, in order to concentrate on its core controls and automation business.
Tony Lancelot of Albert E Sharp Securities said buyers of the automotive subsidiaries are likely to be US conglomerates. ‘There is potential for them to go to global players,’ he said.
Subsidiaries which could be up for sale include Metzeler, GenCorp, BTR Auto and Siebe Auto. They have combined sales of £2.2bn and form the least profitable part of the merged company’s business. Most could be sold for between 70% and 100% of turnover, but the struggling Australian driveline business would fetch less.
But the company is in no rush to sell and is likely to wait until it can gain the best price for each subsidiary.
BTR Siebe is thought to be the largest player in the £70bn world process control and automation market, with a share of around 10%.
Proceeds from sales would not necessarily go towards buying other companies in the same sector, sais Lancelot: ‘Now they need to get their gearing down and invest in their core businesses.’