Oerlikon Said to Explore Options for Advanced Technologies Unit

OC Oerlikon Group (OERL), the Swiss maker of textile machinery and car gears, is exploring strategic options including a possible sale for its Advanced Technologies unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company started preparing the division, which makes manufacturing equipment for semiconductor components and optical disks, to operate outside of Oerlikon last year and is now marketing the business, one of the people said. Burkhard Boendel, a spokesman for Pfaeffikon-based Oerlikon, said the company doesn’t comment on speculation.

The Advanced Technologies unit had earnings before interest and taxes of 7 million Swiss francs ($7.6 million) last year and generated sales of 103 million francs with 188 employees, according to Oerlikon’s annual report. Its peers in the market include Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT), Lam Research Corp. (LRCX), Singulus Technologies AG (SNG) and Ulvac Inc.

Oerlikon is seeking a new chief executive officer after the March departure of Michael Buscher, who led a focus towards more profitable businesses such as coatings for airplanes and car parts. The company in December announced the sale of natural-fibers and textile-components units with an enterprise value of 650 million francs to Chinese investor Pan Xueping’s Jinsheng Group.

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, the world’s 54th richest man, is the largest shareholder of Oerlikon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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