Schaeffler, Timken Weigh Bids for $1.5 Billion ABB Unit

Schaeffler AG and Timken Co. are among suitors considering bids for the mechanical power transmission business being sold by Swiss engineering firm ABB Ltd., people familiar with the matter said.

The rolling bearing makers are working with advisers as they evaluate potential offers for ABB’s Dodge unit, said the people, asking not to be identified because discussions are private. The business could fetch about $1.5 billion in a sale, they said.

ABB has sent out marketing materials to potential bidders and asked for offers by the end of this month, the people said. The business could also attract interest from other industrial companies including RBC Bearings Inc. as well as buyout firms, the people said.

Chief Executive Officer Bjoern Rosengren announced in November ABB will explore options for Dodge, as well as its turbocharging unit and power conversion business. Investors are hoping his strategy will tackle ABB’s conglomerate structure and boost profitability.

Dodge’s products include mounted bearings, enclosed gearing and bushings for industrial applications. ABB acquired the business as part of its 2011 purchase of Baldor Electric Co.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the suitors will proceed with offers, the people said. Representatives for ABB, Schaeffler and Timken declined to comment, while a spokesperson for RBC Bearings didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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