Toshiba near $2.5 billion deal to acquire Landis+Gyr: report

Toshiba Corp of Japan is reported to be close to acquiring Swiss electronic meter maker Landis+Gyr, for about 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion), to enter the promising smart grid market.

The Japanese electronics giant is reported to have beat out private equity firms TPG Capital and EQT Partners in two rounds of bidding to win the right to negotiate with Bayard Capital, one of the main investors in Landis-Gyr.

Landis+Gyr, currently owned by a group of investors, including Bayard Capital of Australia, was earlier owned by a series of investors, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Siemens in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Landis+Gyr, which makes smart meters, a key component of smart grids, competes with companies such as Itron Inc and EnerNoc Inc.

The move will strengthen Toshiba's transmission and distribution business and better equip the Japanese electronics firm to foray into the promising smart grid market overseas.

The move also comes at a time when the radiation crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant in northeast Japan has dimmed the prospects of the nuclear power generation business across the world.