Mannesmann to float engineering divisions

German industrial giant Mannesmann will reveal further details next week of its planned flotation of engineering and automotive businesses, following its acquisition by Vodafone AirTouch.

An initial public offering of shares in the two divisions, to be launched as Advanced Technologies, or Atecs, at next week’s Hanover Fair, is expected to take place by June this year. The stock will trade on Germany’s DAX index.

With market sentiments firmly against engineering stocks, Mannesmann will be playing up the high-tech content of the group, which includes automation businesses Rexroth and Dematic, and automotive parts manufacturers Sachs and VDO.

Insiders believe the shares could be snapped up quickly by another large industrial group, with Siemens seen as a possible investor in the automation businesses.

Unlike Parker and Bosch, which have also been rumoured to be interested, Siemens’ business has little overlap with the Rexroth automation portfolio.