Report: Cummins, Kohler Keen On GE Power Business

Bloomberg News is reporting General Electric Co. has narrowed the list of bidders for its US$3.5 billion industrial gas-engine business.

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Cummins Inc. and Kohler Co., and a group comprised of investment firms KKR & Co and B&C Industrieholding GmbH, have advanced to the next round of bidding.

The final pool reportedly hasn’t been determined and may still include other bidders. An initial bid had also been submitted by Wärtsilä, the report noted.

A Wärtsilä official reiterated the company’s interest in buying GE’s distributed power operations in late May.

“Jenbacher is a leading company in smaller gas engines and gas compressors, and they have been quite successful in areas which are actually just below our sizes,” Wärtsilä CFO Marco Wirén said during an investor meeting.

GE has said it might announce a deal by the middle of the year for the unit.

The unit includes Waukesha engines. Selling the industrial gas engine business would help streamline GE’s power division, whose profit plunged last year as sales of power plants and services fell sharply. Jenbacher and Waukesha engines cover the small to mid-sized segment of GE’s power business, ranging from 100 kW to 10 MW.

–Jack Burke

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