BRUSSELS—Urethane foam maker Recticel N.V./S.A. could sell its auto division by the end of this year, and may already have a short-list of preferred bidders, according to financial analysts.
The analysts suggest the Brussels-based firm will use the funds it raises to develop its isolation division.
Meanwhile, local analysts suggest Recticel is planning acquisitions.
"Given that the disinvestment in the automotive (sector) is advancing in line with (the company's) plans, this seems to indicate that Recticel now has a short list of buyers and that an official announcement could be expected by the end of this year," Nathalie Debruyne, an equity analyst at Degroof Petercam, told local business daily L'Echo.
Analysts estimate that the transaction is worth up to $173 million. This is according to figures obtained from securities and brokerage firm KBC Securities. Recticel could use the funds to develop its insulation production activities.
The Belgian group runs 98 production facilities and offices. In total 8,411 people work at Recticel and its joint ventures. The company has operations in 28 countries.
The group's four product segments include flexible foams, automotive, bedding and insulation. The European markets generate as much as 93 percent of the company's net sales, but Recticel says it is also active in the U.S. and Asia.