Siemens, Europe's biggest engineering group, has held talks with sovereign wealth funds from the Gulf, Russia and other regions in an attempt to expand its long-term investor base, according to the Financial Times.
This could cause a huge political row in the company's domestic market, Germany, where Siemens has been much criticised for slashing thousands of jobs, having received huge sums in government grants, and the multiple bribery and corruption scandals it is embroiled in around the world.
The level of feeling is reflected in the fact that the German Cabinet last week approved a bill that would prevent non-European investors from owning more than a 25% share of a German company.
According to the FT, this could be short-sighted. It says such a deal could boost business opportunities in some of the world's fastest-growing regions for Siemens and last month its US rival General Electric announced a deal with Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's increasingly powerful investment vehicle.