The Sulzer technology group has sold its turbo machinery business to a German company. The divestiture is the first in a major restructuring plan announced by the company.
Sulzer announced on Wednesday that the German company, MAN GHH BORSIG, had acquired its turbo machinery division for an undisclosed sum.
The business had sales of some SFr300 million ($178.57 million) in 1999, and employs approximately 1,000 employees.
In a statement from its headquarters in Winterthur, Sulzer said the new company would belong to the group of global market leaders for thermal turbomachines.
The purchaser, a subsidiary of the commercial vehicle and mechanical engineering company MAN in Oberhausen, is acquiring the management, employees and all sites of Sulzer Turbo.
The merging of the sales and service organisations from MAN Turbomachinen and Sulzer Turbo is expected to strengthen the new firm's overall presence in international markets, especially in the United States.
The Sulzer statement added that the conditions for a socially acceptable divestiture had been fulfilled.
According to Sulzer, the new company has a complete range of turbomachines for the oil and gas industry, the processing industry and associated energy generation.
It will include three legally independent core firms in Germany, Switzerland and Italy with a worldwide sales and service network.
Of the 1,000 Sulzer Turbo staff, some 600 are employed in Zurich, 200 in Schio (Italy), with the remainder in Germany, South Africa, Britain, the US and France.
The deal is subject to the approval of the regulatory and antitrust authorities.
Sulzer is also looking for buyers for its Infra (building technology), Pumps, Textile and Compressor divisions.
Once it has divested itself of these industrial parts of the business, Sulzer is to concentrate on medical devices, and surface and materials technology.
Last week, Sulzer announced it had signed a declaration of intent with its social partners in a bid to save as many jobs as possible affected by the restructuring plans.
swissinfo with agencies