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FILE PHOTO: The Siemens logo is seen on a building in Siemensstadt in Berlin, Germany, October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: The Siemens logo is seen on a building in Siemensstadt in Berlin, Germany, October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo (REUTERS)

Siemens unleashes behemoth behind much of world’s electricity

Listing of Siemens Energy AG marks the next step in the unwinding of a German conglomerate making a vast array of goods that spans medical scanners, locomotives and gas turbines into separate companies better suited to confront their own unique challenges

Siemens AG is about to let investors make pure-play bets on a company whose technology is behind roughly one-sixth of the world’s electricity.

Monday’s listing of Siemens Energy AG marks the next step in the unwinding of a German conglomerate making a vast array of goods that spans medical scanners, locomotives and gas turbines into separate companies better suited to confront their own unique challenges.

There will be no shortage of hindrances ahead for the extraction, processing, and transportation of oil and gas, as well as the generation, transmission and distribution of power and heat that Siemens Energy handles. Efforts to curb power-plant emissions are likely to constrain the company’s longer-term prospects.

“Siemens Energy’s spinoff showcases a gas-turbine technology whose growth has been stunted by climate change, though gas should remain a key energy source," Johnson Imode, an industry analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a Sept. 23 report. He estimates Siemens Energy may be worth about 20 billion euros ($23 billion) based on its guidance for earnings next year.

The listing is one of the last moves under Chief Executive Officer Josef Kaeser to turn one of Europe’s largest industrial manufacturers into a more manageable entity. The 63-year-old’s spinoff of its medical business, Siemens Healthineers AG, was Germany’s biggest initial public offering of the past four years.

Siemens Energy will own a majority stake in separately listed wind-power company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA, and last year generated revenue of 28.8 billion euros with 91,000 employees.

Siemens handed 55% of Siemens Energy shares to its shareholders, and the parent has said it will further reduce its stake within 12 to 18 months, which could reignite interest in consolidation, according to BI’s Imode.

Before deciding on a spinoff, Siemens mulled other options for the business. Bloomberg News reported last year that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. held talks with the company about a possible gas-turbine business combination, and that Siemens had discussions with other firms about a full or partial sale of its division.

Siemens still holds 79% of Siemens Healthineers stock, which has been among the more successful recent listings in Germany. A plan to combine Siemens’s railway business with Alstom of France, however, was vetoed by the European Commission.

Kaeser will leave the carrying out of one more spinoff to his successor, Roland Busch, who will take over most CEO responsibilities later this week. In February, the company will present shareholders with its plan to offload its Flender GmbH unit that makes mechanical drives in what will be a company with about 2 billion euros in sales and 8,500 employees.

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