Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — Siemens AG has chosen Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to advise on the sale of its water technologies unit, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with matter.

The sale may officially begin in the second quarter, the news agency said, citing the sources. Siemens announced plans to dispose of the water unit, which has annual sales of about 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion), in November. Siemens and Goldman Sachs declined to comment, Reuters said.

Several potential bidders have approached Munich-based Siemens, according to the news agency. It said industry sources expect Xylem Inc. and Pentair Ltd. to be interested as much of Siemens’s water business is focused on North America.

Asian suitors may include Kurita Water Industries Ltd., Hyflux Ltd., Hitachi Ltd. and Marubeni Corp., one of the people cited said. Private equity buyers are also expected to show interest, Reuters said.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Ludden in London at jludden@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net