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Hella Said to Ready IPO With Citigroup, Bankhaus Lampe

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Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., a German automotive supplier, is working with Citigroup Inc. and Bankhaus Lampe KG on an initial public offering later this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Hella, which reported annual sales of more than 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion), plans to list in Frankfurt in what could be the largest IPO in Germany this year, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. No final decision has been made by the family-owned business, they said.

Companies in Europe’s largest economy, including fashion retailer Zalando SE, are preparing to sell shares this year after volumes of IPOs on the continent rose to the highest since 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The IPO comes amid a pick-up in deal activity among automotive suppliers. ZF Friedrichshafen AG is exploring a takeover of TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. to create the world’s no. 2 car-parts maker.

A spokeswoman for Citigroup declined to comment. Hella, based in Lippstadt near Dusseldorf, and Bankhaus Lampe couldn’t be reached for comment by phone or e-mail outside of regular business hours.

Hella’s adjusted earnings before interest and taxes increased 35 percent to about 390 million euros for the year ended May 31, according to its website. For this fiscal year, the group aims to increase sales and earnings somewhere in a “mid-single digit percentage range,” it said.

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