(Bloomberg) -- Fosun International Ltd. is exploring options including a minority stake sale in German automatic manufacturing solutions provider FFT Group, which could be valued at about €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in a deal, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Chinese conglomerate has reached out and gauged interest from potential investors, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Fosun may look to list the holding company of FFT Group — Shanghai Easun Technology Co. — in China in the next three years though the plan remains at an early stage, one of the people said.
Considerations are preliminary and Fosun may eventually decide against a deal, according to the people. A representative for Fosun didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Fosun — whose businesses span tourism, pharmaceuticals and finance — accelerated its asset sales late last year to pare debt as credit concerns triggered a bond and stock selloff. Its disposals amount to a record stretch that total at least $6.6 billion in just two years. But the pace of divestitures have slowed in recent months and the planned sale of its 60% stake in Nanjing Nangang Iron & Steel United Co. for $2 billion has been dragged down by litigation that was only settled in October.
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Founded in 1974, FFT Group provides automation and digitalization of production facilities globally, its website shows. The Fulda-based has a presence in Europe, US, China, India and Mexico with more than 2,800 staff globally. In 2019, Fosun acquired the business from ATOM GmbH, a Germany family-owned private investment company, according to a press release. It didn’t disclose any financial terms.
FFT Group is fully owned by Shanghai Easun, in which Fosun and its affiliated units hold a 83% stake, according to Fosun’s latest interim report. Shanghai Easun’s revenue increased more than 26% year-on-year to 3.1 billion yuan ($434 million) for the six months ended June 30. The unit outperformed Fosun’s broader intelligent manufacturing business segment, which reported revenue growth of 6.5%.
--With assistance from Shirley Zhao.
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