April 11, 2017 / 12:13 PM / a year ago

Toshiba considering listing Swiss smart meter firm Landis+Gyr

FRANKFURT/TOKYO, April 11 (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp is considering a stock market listing and other options for Swiss smart meter maker Landis+Gyr, it said on Tuesday, as the Japanese conglomerate scrambles to raise funds to cover massive losses at U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.

Reuters last month reported that Toshiba had hired UBS to explore a sale or initial public offering of the business, potentially valued at over $2 billion.

Toshiba will send out information packages on the company to prospective buyers later this month, two people close to the matter said, as it starts an auction expected to appeal mainly to private equity companies.

Toshiba is targeting buyout groups such as Carlyle, Cinven, Advent, Blackstone, Bain, Onex , Triton, CD&R and even former owner KKR, the person said.

Toshiba owns a 60 percent stake in Landis+Gyr which reported an operating profit of 6.5 billion yen ($58.8 million) in the nine months through December, down from 7.8 billion a year earlier.

Landis+Gyr has forecast a rise of nearly 5 percent in sales to $1.64 billion for the year ending this month and has said it was “unaffected by Toshiba’s challenges”.

Bidders may value Landis+Gyr at more than $2 billion or 10-11 times annual core earnings (EBITDA), people close to the matter have said.

In an auction for Qundis, a smaller, German peer of Landis+Gyr, buyout group HgCapital is seen attracting bids of more than 400 million euros ($425 million), or up to 14 times core earnings, from potential bidders such as Cinven, Bain and Nordic Capital by an April 26 deadline.

Honeywell paid about 13 times expected core earnings for German metering technology company Elster in 2015.

Toshiba has put its memory chip unit and other assets up for sale and Westinghouse has filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors.

On Tuesday it released its delayed financial results, but without its auditor’s endorsement, increasing the likelihood the conglomerate will be delisted in Tokyo.

($1 = 0.9419 euros)

$1 = 110.5900 yen Reporting by Arno Schuetze, Makiko Yamazaki and Taiga Uranaka; editing by Jason Neely

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