Fujitsu kicks off auction for air conditioning unit

By Kane Wu and Makiko Yamazaki

HONG KONG/TOKYO, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Japan’s Fujitsu Ltd has kicked off an auction process for its listed air-conditioning manufacturing unit Fujitsu General Ltd with initial bids due on Friday, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The sale is expected to attract interest from multiple private equity firms and strategic investors, said the people, who declined to identified as the talks are private.

Lazard Ltd is advising Fujitsu General and UBS Group AG is advising Fujitsu, two of the people said.

UBS declined to comment. Lazard and Fujitsu General could not be reached for immediate comment.

Fujitsu has said it plans to sell its 42% stake in Fujitsu General, as the Japanese electronics conglomerate accelerates its business overhaul. A Fujitsu spokesperson said the company cannot comment further. ($1 = 128.4900 yen) (Reporting by Kane Wu in HONG KONG and Makiko Yamazaki in TOKYO; Additional reporting by Mayu Sakoda Editing by Tomasz Janowski)