Siemens unveils strategic overhaul

Wednesday 07 May 2014 11.14
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser unveils strategic overhaul
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser unveils strategic overhaul

German engineering giant Siemens unveiled a long-awaited strategic overhaul today to catch up with more profitable competitors.

However, it said it would not be forced into making a formal offer for the energy assets of French rival Alstom.

Since taking up the position of chief executive last summer, Joe Kaeser has been working on the new strategy. 

Ahead of his presentation at the firm's historic "Siemensstadt" site in Berlin, the company posted weaker-than-expected earnings for its fiscal second quarter, hit by charges in its energy business, and announced a series of smaller deals.

Siemens said it was buying energy assets from Rolls-Royce for roughly €950m and transferring a majority stake in its Austrian metals business to Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for undisclosed terms.
              
As part of the overhaul, dubbed "Vision 2020" the company is also streamlining its divisional structure, spinning off its hearing aids business and separating out management of its healthcare business.

All these steps are aimed at strengthening its focus on electrification, automation and digitalisation.

The strategic revamp comes as Siemens mulls a formal offer for the energy business of French rival Alstom, which is already the target of a bid from US giant General Electric.

The French government views the GE bid with scepticism and has encouraged Siemens to enter the race despite lingering resentments between the European rivals over the German firm's push to snap up Alstom assets a decade ago when it was forced to accept a state bailout.
              
Kaeser said he had discussed the risks and opportunities of a bid for Alstom assets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose own government has sent positive signals about a Franco-German deal, but made clear that a decision to make an offer would "not be forced on us".
             
For the fiscal second quarter ended March 31, the company said its operating profit came in at €1.57 billion on revenues of €17.65 billion.