HANNOVER, Germany (June 21)—Continental A.G. has chosen private equity firm Carlyle Group as the preferred buyer for its ContiTech rubber components unit, according to a company spokesman. Under the proposed deal ContiTech will be sold as a complete unit, including its vehicle anti-vibration systems and airsprings operations, which Conti originally intended to retain, he also said. Washington-based Carlyle Group claims to be the world's largest global private equity investment firm, managing more than $13 billion in equity capital. Neither Conti nor Carlyle would comment on a proposed sale price; European media, citing company sources, put the price at more than $900 million. With nearly 16,000 employees worldwide, ContiTech reported sales in 2000 of $1.65 billion, 68 percent of which came from the automotive sector and 32 percent from industrial customers. ContiTech makes automotive and non-automotive hose and transmission belt systems and automotive profiles, as well as vibration-control systems, containing rubber-to-metal bonded antivibration devices and airsprings.