LONDON/ZURICH, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Swiss trainmaker Stadler has hired big Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse as global coordinators to help prepare an initial public offering, an option long considered by billionaire owner Peter Spuhler, two people close to the matter told Reuters.
Citi and Zuercher Kantonalbank were expected to be mandated as bookrunners. A listing on the Swiss exchange could emerge early next year, they said.
"An IPO is one option. There's no decision yet," a Stadler spokeswoman said.
UBS, Credit Suisse, Citi and ZKB declined comment.
Sources told Reuters last month that Stadler has hired corporate finance adviser Alantra to lay the groundwork for a possible IPO.
In an interview published last month, Spuhler told Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung he had conducted preliminary checks to determine whether his company was ready for a share sale. If it came to that, Spuhler added, he would reduce his stake to less than 50 percent.
Stadler, which has around 7,600 workers, had sales last year of 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.42 billion).
It aims to boost revenue to 3.9 billion francs by 2020 as it wins more business from customers that today include CalTrain in the United States, Wales & Borders in Britain, and Russia's rail company Aeroexpress that bought trains ahead of the 2018 World Cup to ferry visitors from airports to Moscow.
The rail sector is in the midst of a consolidation wave. A plan by Siemens and Alstom to create a Franco-German rail champion is being investigated by the European Commission.
$1 = 0.9927 Swiss francs Editing by Michael Shields