Siemens has hired investment banks Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to ready an offering of its VDO automotive unit, a Siemens spokesman said today.
Analysts value VDO at up to $12.22 billion (9 billion euros), which would make the initial public offering the biggest in Germany this year. VDO, which makes car electronics and sensors including safety and entertainment equipment, had 2006 sales of $13.6 billion (10 billion euros).
Siemens had said it plans to float a minority stake on the market while maintaining operational control.
It has stressed that this remains its preferred option despite expressions of interest from buyers including Germany's Continental AG and France's Valeo SA.