ABB, Schneider Electric, PE firms in the race for GE's industrial solutions division

European engineering giants ABB Ltd, Schneider Electric SE and private equity firms are in the race to buy General Electric Co's industrial solutions division worth around $3 billion, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

ABB and Schneider Electric are through to the second round of bidding, while private equity firms, like KKR & Co, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Warburg Pincus and Onex Corp are also in the running, the report said.

GE's industrial solutions business sells electrical-distribution products such as circuit breakers and switchgear to the electrical-distribution and grid industries, and has about 13,000 employees and 30 plants globally.

GE had in December last year said that it would sell its $3-billion industrial solutions business, as well as its water filtration and chemicals division, and expects the divestitures to generate about $4 billion of net proceeds.

Last month, GE struck a deal to sell its industrial water treatment business to French waste and water group Suez SA and Canada's largest pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for $3.4 billion. (See: General Electric to sell water and process technologies business for $3.4 bn)

GE is also mulling to sell its consumer-lighting business in a deal that could value the 127 year-old unit co-founded by Thomas Edison, at around $500 million.