Nidec, Schaeffler Vie for $1 Billion Asia Component Firm

(Bloomberg) -- Nidec Corp., a Japanese supplier to Apple Inc., and Germany’s Schaeffler AG are among bidders competing for Taiwanese components maker Precision Motion Industries Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Nidec and Schaeffler are conducting due diligence as they weigh binding offers for the closely held company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The potential sale, which has also attracted buyout firms, could value the Taichung-based firm at more than $1 billion, said the people. No final decisions have been made, and the companies could still decide against pursuing an agreement, the people said.

Nidec denies ever having any interest in a deal with PMI, the Japanese company said in an emailed statement Tuesday. Reports that Nidec is interested in a deal for PMI are “completely not in accordance with the facts,” according to the statement. PMI declined to comment, as did a representative for Schaeffler.

A deal for PMI, whose components are used in semiconductor manufacturing, could be reached in the next few weeks, said the people. Any sale would add to the $4.7 billion of announced acquisitions of Taiwanese companies this year, compared with $5.7 billion during the same period in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

PMI is working with a financial adviser as it pursues a deal, people familiar with the matter said last month. Founded in 1990, the company makes ball screws and other components used in precision machinery for plastics injection, semiconductor manufacturing and metal shaping, its website shows.

Schaeffler’s ball bearings and other technologies are used in combustion engines and transmissions. The Herzogenaurach-based company has been investing in new technologies as the global automotive industry shifts toward electric vehicles, which don’t require many of the products it currently sells to carmakers.

Nidec agreed this year to buy refrigeration compressor maker Embraco from Whirlpool Corp. for $1.08 billion. The Kyoto-based electric-motor maker supplies parts to companies including Apple and Seagate Technology Plc.

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