The technology group, Unaxis, is selling its Leybolds Optics division to EQT Northern Europe in a transaction worth SFr245 million ($150 million).
The deal is part of the company's policy of asset sales followed over the past two years. Unaxis, formerly known as the industrial conglomerate Oerlikon Buehrle, has been re-branding itself as an information technology and optical component manufacturer.
Leybold had sales of SFr181 million for the first nine months of the current year.
The intended sale of Leybold Optics had already been announced. The sale might help the group to post a small profit for 2001 despite an operating loss caused by poor business for its ESEC chip-making facility and restructuring charges.
The new IT strategy followed by Unaxis has made it particularly vulnerable to the economic downturn, which hit the new economy first.
Leybold Optics, based in Germany, specialises in coating systems and related processes for the telecommunications and precision optics sectors as well as products for the automotive and plastics industries.
EQT is a private equity fund belonging to the Swedish Wallenberg Foundation.
Unaxis retains an option to participate in a later initial public offering of Leybold.
swissinfo with agencies
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