(Bloomberg) -- Bain Capital is seeking to team up with French investors in its effort to acquire Engie SA’s energy-services unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. private equity firm is in talks with investment funds and family offices in France about joining its bid for Equans, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. 

Under its plans, Bain would purchase roughly 60% of Equans, with 20% retained by Engie and the remainder held by the French investors, they said. A representative for Bain declined to comment.

Equans could be valued at 5 billion euros ($5.8 billion) or more in any sale, Bloomberg News reported previously, which would make it one of the largest corporate carve-outs in Europe this year. The sale has drawn bids from French construction groups Bouygues SA and Eiffage SA, which want to expand in the provision of energy and telecommunications services to companies and buildings. 

The sale is a politically sensitive one for the French government ahead of next April’s presidential election, as Equans employs more than a third of its 74,000 workers in the country. Having local investors on board could help Bain garner political support for its bid.

The private equity firm is also offering to set up a joint venture with Engie that would allow it to continue providing smart city offerings after the deal, according to the people. This may appeal to Engie as it transitions to cleaner energy company with renewable power generation and infrastructure.

Equans installs and maintains air conditioning, electrical systems and telecommunications equipment, and generates more than 12 billion euros in annual revenue. Firm bids for the business are due early next month.

Shares in Spie SA notched their biggest intraday gain in more than a year on Wednesday after the French industrial group said Tuesday that it had dropped out of the bidding for Equans. 

“We note the media say Bouygues is the favorite but we think the game is open,” Bryan Garnier analyst Eric Lemarie wrote in a note on Wednesday. “We reckon Eiffage is better placed to integrate properly Equans thanks to a better track record, notably in terms of profitability.”

“We continue to suspect Bain will be penalized as a fund,” Lemarie wrote.

(Adds Spie detail, analyst comments in final three paragraphs.)

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