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Siemens close to sale of airport logistics unit: Bloomberg

People walk out of an office building of Siemens AG in Berlin July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
People walk out of an office building of Siemens AG in Berlin July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

(Reuters) - German engineering firm Siemens AG is close to finalizing an agreement to sell its logistics and airports solutions business to a group led by billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, quoting people familiar with the talks.

Officials at Siemens were not immediately available for comment.

Siemens plans to retain a minority stake in the unit, which is based in Constance, Germany, to help secure jobs, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because negotiations are private, the article said.

Siemens will likely announce the sale as early as this week and the supervisory board is set to sign off on the transaction on May 6, one of the sources told Bloomberg.

Plans to sell the 3,500-employee-strong division, which makes parcel- and baggage-handling systems, were first announced by Siemens in November 2012. The unit had a "mid-single digit" profit margin on sales of about 900 million euros ($1.2 billion) in 2011, Bloomberg said.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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