ABB is exploring options to sell a majority or minority stake in Power Grids, its second-largest but lowest-margin business, with a decision likely to be made by early next year, according to what three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
“The company is looking at separating its Power Grids business,” one source said. “A sale of a majority is the preferred option at moment, although selling a minority or spinning it off are also possible,” cites Reuters.
Possible bidders include infrastructure funds as well as industrial companies including possible bidders from Asia, a second source said.
Power Grids, which sells substation and transformer equipment to utilities, employs 36,000 people and had sales of $10.4 billion last year.
In October 2016 the company defied shareholder pressure to separate the unit.
If a deal gets approved, ABB could concentrate on more profitable areas like electrification and automation, and be also interested in buying General Electric’s power conversion unit, the first source told Reuters.