October 15, 2019 / 4:06 PM / 2 months ago

KKR mandates banks for defense supplier Hensoldt's IPO: sources

FILE PHOTO: The KKR & Co name is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Private equity firm KKR (KKR.N) is advancing with preparations for a stock market flotation of German defense supplier Hensoldt in a deal potentially valuing the company at more than 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), people close to the matter said.

The buyout group is working with JP Morgan (JPM.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N) on potentially listing 20-30% of the company on the Frankfurt stock exchange, in a deal that could take place in the second quarter of 2020, they said.

KKR and the banks declined to comment or had no immediate comment.

People close to the matter told Reuters last month that KKR was preparing for a stock market flotation or sale of Hensoldt.

The investor bought Airbus’s (AIR.PA) defense electronics business for 1.1 billion euros in 2016 and later rebranded it Hensoldt, naming it after a 19th century German maker of binoculars and telescopes.

The business comprises military sensors, electronic warfare equipment, avionics and optronics. It employs 4,400 staff and has annual sales of 1.1 billion euros.

Hensoldt’s high-tech cameras are used in products including Tornado fighter jets that fly surveillance missions over Syria and Iraq, while it also supplies radars for Eurofighter jets as well as periscopes for submarines and Leopard and Puma tanks.

The company also supplies identification systems for combat jets, night vision devices, radars for civil air traffic control and systems for civil and military efforts to counter drones.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Mark Potter

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