By ALEX WEBB
Siemens AG, Europes largest engineering
company, agreed to sell part of its water- technologies
division to AEA Investors for 640 million euros ($865 million)
as it focuses on higher-margin businesses.
Siemens is retaining operations providing automation and drive
solutions for the operation of water and sewage treatment
plants, the Munich-based company said Wednesday in a
Were pleased to have found a buyer with experience
in industrial investments who wants to continue to drive Water
Technologies business, Siemenss industry
division head Siegfried Russwurm said in the statement.
We will in the future be focusing our water business on
solutions in line with our electro technical core
Siemens, which replaced CEO Peter Loescher with finance chief
Joe Kaeser in August, is also selling other units as it focuses
on businesses it deems to have better growth prospects. The
water technologies unit, including wastewater, municipal
services and industrial water purification services as well as
membrane filtration systems, was put up for sale in 2012.
AEA Investors, a private-equity firm founded in 1968, focuses
on investments in industrials, specialty chemicals, consumer
products and services, according to its website. AEAs
middle-market private-equity team manages about $3.6 billion of
invested and committed capital.
The units acquired by AEA comprise solutions for treating and
processing water as well as the associated servicing
capabilities, Siemens said. The German company is also
retaining water technology used in the oil and gas
Bloomberg reported Siemenss planned sale of the division
to New York-based AEA on Oct. 15.
Siemens will report earnings tomorrow for the 12 months ended
Sept. 30. The company has forecast income from continuing
operations of 4 billion euros, including contributions from the
solar business and networks joint venture stakes it has already
Siemens had a profit margin of 9.5% in fiscal 2012, while ABB
and General Electric had margins of 10.3% and 15%,
respectively. In August, Siemenss debt was downgraded by
Fitch Ratings, which cited an accelerating decline in the
manufacturers margins in the most recent quarter and
insufficient progress on restructuring