French Auto Supplier Faurecia Said to Weigh Bumper Unit Sale

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Faurecia SA, Europe’s biggest maker of car interiors, is exploring a sale of its bumpers business, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is working with Citigroup Inc. on a potential disposal, said the people, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private. Faurecia is talking to private-equity firms as well as automotive suppliers to gauge interest, the people said.

The bumpers unit, which is part of the smaller Faurecia division that makes parts for the outsides of cars, may fetch as much as $450 million, the people said. The Nanterre, France-based company, which has considered a sale for some time, may decide against a deal or struggle to find a buyer willing to pay a sufficient price, they said. Kate Philipps, a spokeswoman for Faurecia, declined to comment.

Shedding the bumpers division could help Faurecia free up resources as it expands in Asia. The French manufacturer plans to open an average of seven plants a year in China, where it’s seeking to more than double its revenue by 2018.

Faurecia jumped as much as 3 percent to 38.33 euros and was trading up 2.2 percent as of 10:20 a.m. in Paris in the day’s biggest gain on the Stoxx 600 Automobiles & Parts Index of European component-suppliers’ shares. The stock has risen 23 percent this year, valuing Faurecia at about 4.75 billion euros ($5.15 billion).

The French company doesn’t disclose sales for the bumpers business. The automotive-exteriors unit of which it’s a part generated 2.1 billion euros in revenue last year, about 11 percent of the company’s total.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-biggest carmaker, owns 51 percent of Faurecia. The auto-parts producer is scheduled to publish first-half earnings on Friday.

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