Valeo aims to keep a Bourse listing, and while investment funds have made expressions of interest, there is no firm offer on the table, its executive chairman told a French newspaper on Wednesday.

According to Reuters, Thierry Morin told Les Echos that the group would spend the next few weeks with interested funds to study the group’s businesses.

He reportedly added the firm would sell activities worth EUR2bn ($US2.71bn) in sales by 2009 and noted main stakeholder Pardus seemed to have dropped its aim of having Valeo buy all of Visteon.

Morin said an investment fund could take a majority stake in Valeo and added that the group, together with a partner, could be interested in buying the VDO unit of Siemens, Reuters added.

He reportedly said Valeo was interested in the thermal activities of Visteon but less in the vehicle interiors and electronics activities.

Citing the Les Echos report, Reuters cited Morin as saying the firm had been contacted by investment funds over the past few years.

“Since 2001, at several occasions, Valeo has been approached by funds … There is no firm offer,” Morin was reported to have said, adding that amid the recent discussions with activist shareholders Guy Wyster-Pratte and Pardus, the board needed to mention the other alternative.

Wyser-Pratte has since sold a stake, Pardus owns over 13% in Valeo and some 17% in Visteon, according to the report.

“In my mind it is not about taking Valeo from the stock market but about taking a majority stake,” Morin was reported to have said about the funds, which he declined to name.

The news agency said Les Echos mentioned Apollo Investment, PAI Partners and Cerberus Capital Management.

Morin told the paper the board found the approaches serious.

“They seem extremely serious to us – that does not mean that they will lead to something – but they come from motivated people, ready to invest,” he said, according to Reuters.

He reportedly said the car parts sector was not often well understood by people investing on the stock market, but funds could have a better insight. “It is essential that the potential future shareholders understand the difficulties of this business sector and study it. That is what we will do with them in the coming weeks,” he said, according to Reuters.

According to the report, Morin said Siemens VDO was a “nice company” that had made many acquisitions, and not all of them were fully integrated.

“It is out of the question that Valeo can pretend to acquire all of that company, looking at its size and the possible price of some 10 billion euros,” Morin was quoted as saying.

“However, in a second phase or with a partner, like a fund or a party interested in other parts of Siemens VDO, Valeo would gladly participate in this matter. The one that makes the acquisition is perhaps not interested in all of it (Siemens VDO),” he added, according to the report.