Engineering group BBA is talking with venture capital firms in a bid to sell off the mainstay of its electrical components division, Haefely Trench. Analysts expect the sale will bring in close to £180m – adding to the £200m BBA already has ready for acquisitions.
Haefely Trench is a world leader in electrical components for high voltage electricity transmission. Sales last year were estimated at £170m, but margins were down slightly. BBA is understood to be unhappy with the modest growth potential of the division.
The other electrical company in BBA’s electrical division, heat treatment specialist Ajax Magnethermic – valued at about £70m – looks likely to be retained.
Selling Haefely Trench will put BBA in a strong position to add to its £1.08bn business, after backing off from a takeover bid for Lucas last year.
In the last financial year BBA has spent £278m on acquisitions. Further deals are likely across the three main divisions – friction components, aviation services and non-woven textiles.
Earlier this month, BBA announced the £27.9m acquisition of Becorit Gesellschaft Wilhelm Beckmann, a railway friction materials maker.