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UPDATE 1-Toshiba's Landis+Gyr seen fetching up to $2.5 bln in IPO

(Adds detail about rival's valuation)

ZURICH, July 12 (Reuters) - Toshiba's Landis+Gyr smart meters unit aims to raise up to 2.4 billion Swiss francs ($2.5 billion) in an initial sale of shares, as the Japanese company unloads the business to help cover losses at its bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.

The price range for the initial public offering was set at 70 francs to 82 francs per share, Landis+Gyr said on Wednesday, which implies a market capitalisation of between 2.1 billion francs and 2.4 billion francs.

Toshiba and minority owner INCJ are selling 100 percent of their stakes. Shares are due to begin trading on July 21 on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

The transaction looks set to value Landis+Gyr at less than U.S.-based rival Itron.

Itron, which like Landis+Gyr makes smart metering equipment to help consumers and utilities track and manage their consumption of electricity, gas or water, is valued at nearly $2.7 billion on Nasdaq, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Landis+Gyr Chief Executive Richard Mora told Swiss financial newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft last week that he judged his company as more valuable than Itron, because he said it was more profitable and had higher cash flows.

Mora was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

Toshiba previously spurned a $2 billion offer to buy Landis+Gyr from CVC Capital Partners and Hitachi, Reuters has reported.

There has been a wave of smart meter transactions in the last two years, including Xylem's $1.7 billion acquisition of Sensus and Honeywell's purchase of Melrose Industrie's Elster unit in 2016.

($1 = 0.9622 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Mark Potter)