Siemens CEO sees group as 'fleet of ships' - Manager Magazin

Siemens CEO sees group as 'fleet of ships' - Manager Magazin
The headquarters of Siemens AG is seen before the company's annual news conference in Munich, Germany, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
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MUNICH (Reuters) – Siemens’ chief executive sees the German group as a “fleet of ships”, each thriving under its own steam, but rejects the idea of separate listings for its core factory-automation and energy businesses, he told Manager Magazin.

Joe Kaeser has carved out or divested several of the industrial group’s businesses since becoming CEO in 2013, sparking speculation of a break-up of the group with Siemens effectively becoming a holding company.

“We are not breaking anything up, we are building new companies,” Kaeser said in the interview published on Thursday, likening Siemens to a fleet of ships and reiterating his view that old-style conglomerates have no future.

But he added: “Speculation that we will float first Digital Factory and then Energy Management, or even sell Building Technologies, are nonsense.”

The most radical step so far is set to take place in the first half of next year, with the flotation of healthcare unit Healthineers, which is expected to value the business at around 40 billion euros (£35.1 billion).

The move is designed to enable the business to raise its own funds for acquisitions and investments in the fast-changing healthcare sector as well as crystallising its standalone market value, removing some of the “conglomerate discount” that weighs on Siemens’ valuation.

In the past year, Siemens has merged its wind-power business with Spain’s Gamesa in a joint venture and agreed to create another joint venture with France’s Alstom for its transportation operations.

Together with Healthineers, these businesses generate more than a third of Siemens’ sales.

Siemens shares have are broadly flat this year to date, underperforming the Stoxx European capital goods index.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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