By Jof Enriquez,
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Siemens CEO Jose Kaeser says the company intends to maintain a majority stake in its healthcare business, Healthineers, after a potential spin-off or initial public offering (IPO).
After rebranding in May 2016, Healthineers has posted solid growth in succeeding quarters and has helped Siemens gain early momentum with its Vision 2020 restructuring plan. Kaeser first announced in November 2016 that Siemens may sell a portion of Healthineers as the corporation shifts focus to energy and industrial equipment.
After an IPO, Healthineers could reach an enterprise value of €30 to €35 billion, according to Finanz und Wirtschaft.
Kaeser told the Swiss newspaper in an interview that Siemens plans to keep a majority stake in Healthineers, though, because healthcare could one day become an even bigger opportunity than other industrial sectors.
"We retain the majority. It is one of our most attractive shops and will be the third pillar alongside renewable energy and industrial Siemens," said Kaeser.
Siemens has not announced the exact nature of the transaction through which it will launch Healthineers as an independent company. The location of the stock exchange listing also is up in the air. Besides the Frankfurt or Hong Kong stock exchanges, Siemens is strongly considering a U.S. listing, but seems wary of the current political climate and uncertain regulatory policy there.
"The location of the stock exchange is also open: the U.S. stock market is very liquid and has a good understanding of the health sector. We are watching carefully whether the U.S. President will dismantle regulations, bureaucracy and taxes as announced. With today's regulations, you have to think twice about going to the stock market in the U.S.," Kaeser told Finanz und Wirtschaft.
Kaeser said that the major structural re-orientation of Siemens has been completed, and there are no other planned divestments. He says structural changes will always be considered, but he prefers to "design them ourselves" and not defer to third parties.
According to Reuters, Kaeser cites five criteria in deciding whether to keep a business in the Siemens portfolio: Is it in a growth field; is it profitable enough; is it doing better than the competition; are there synergies with other Siemens businesses; and are big changes in the value chain on the horizon?
Kaeser says he is optimistic about the global economic environment in 2017. In particular, he pointed to better-than-expected market conditions in Europe and China as good indicators.