January 30, 2018 / 11:56 AM / 24 days ago

Swiss sensor maker Sensirion gears up for flotation - sources

FRANKFURT, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Swiss sensor maker Sensirion is gearing up for a Zurich stock market flotation in March or April as it seeks additional funds for expansion, people close to the matter said.

The maker of sensors used in the medical, industrial and automotive industries is working with JP Morgan and Credit Suisse as so-called global coordinators on the deal, with further help from Vontobel, they said.

Sensirion declined to confirm that a transaction was imminent.

“An IPO is one option,” a spokesman said on Tuesday, adding the timing was open.

The banks declined to comment.

The Finanz und Wirtschaft paper on Saturday reported the planned listing.

Sensirion is expected to reap a valuation of 600-800 million Swiss francs ($642-856 million), including proceeds from a planned capital increase, one of the people said, adding that shares worth 200-300 million francs will likely be offered.

The maker of gas and liquid flow sensors as well as gear to measure humidity, temperature or carbon dioxide levels was founded in 1998 by physicists Felix Mayer and Moritz Lechner as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).

Lechner and Mayer, along with other longer-term investors, own the company. Marc von Waldkirch, another ETH-trained physicist, is chief executive.

With around 730 employees around the world, Sensirion competes in fragmented markets against rivals including well-established companies Honeywell, Germany’s Robert Bosch, Texas-based Silicon Labs and Japan’s Horiba.

Sensirion’s sensors are used in cars, mobile phones, hospitals and petrochemicals plants, as well as aboard the International Space Station, the company said.

It sells its sensors via large distributors including DigiKey Corp, Mouser Electronics, Conrad and Arrow Electronics.

$1 = 0.9347 Swiss francs Additional reporting by Oliver Hirt and John Miller in Zurich; Editing by Michael Shields

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