Continental Is Said to Explore Sale of Turbocharger Business

Continental AG is exploring a sale of its turbocharger unit as the German automotive supplier conducts a major restructuring to stem losses, according to people familiar with the matter.

Europe’s second-largest car-parts supplier is working with Citigroup Inc. on the disposal, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. The business is no longer seen as strategically important and lacks the scale required to compete globally, one of the people said.

Talks with potential buyers are ongoing and there’s no certainty they will result in a sale. Representatives for Continental and Citigroup declined to comment.

Auto-parts makers have been under pressure from the seismic technology shift toward electric and self-driving vehicles. The financial strain of tackling this transformation has been exacerbated this year by the coronavirus outbreak that has shuttered factories worldwide.

Continental on Wednesdayannounced it will record another quarterly loss as impairments and restructuring measures take a toll.

The supervisory board last month approved a dramatic overhaul affecting as many as 30,000 jobs that could be shifted or eliminated after earlier plans for a revamp were rendered insufficient by the pandemic.

The company also said on Sept. 30 that it will consider asset sales as part of its overhaul efforts. A deal would echo thesale ofRobert Bosch GmbH andMahle GmbH’s turbo charger joint venture to private equity firmFountainVest Partners in 2017.

Turbochargers force compressed air into combustion engines to boost efficiency and power output. Continental has supplied the devices to automakers includingVolkswagen AG andFord Motor Co.

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