The report says that a deal could come as early as this week even though no final agreement has been reached and negotiations could falter.
Spokespersons declined comment on the deal.
The sale could value the Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Gardner Denver about nine times its estimated 2012 earnings, according to the Reuters report.
Gardner Denver makes compressors, pumps and vacuum products for industrial uses. The decision to explore the sale came after months of pressure from investor ValueAct Capital which acquired a 5 percent stake in the company.
A press release sent to investors said that the company's board of directors, its management team and the company's financial advisor, Goldman, Sachs & Co., are ??exploring strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value.??
The company's Quincy, Ill. based operation eliminated 30 manufacturing positions in May.