Siemens to sell €1bn water treatment business

Siemens will put its water treatment business up for sale to focus on its automation technology in the water sector, the company announced today.

Siemens Water Technologies, which offers solutions for municipal and industrial water purification and wastewater treatment, will be sold along with the corresponding service activities.

The sale of the business, worth around €1bn a year, comes as part of a wider approach by the German engineering conglomerate to save €6bn by 2014 in response to difficulties in a weak global economic market. Last month Siemens announced it was pulling out of the solar sector.

According to Siemens AG managing board member and chief executive officer of the industry sector Siegfried Russwurm, water technologies no longer fit with the company’s business plan.

“This business shows only minor synergies with our industrial portfolio, as the skills for water treatment are primarily based on chemical expertise. Instead of investing into that business, we want to gear our resources toward our core portfolio,” he said.

The water technologies business, which provides products and services comprising of a number of different biological, chemical, and mechanical methods for the treatment of water and wastewater, has put on a solid economic performance in the past 18 months. It employs 4,500 workers of which 3,000 are based in North America.

Siemens industry automation division chief executive Anton S. Huber said: “For the business, which is organized in the Water Technologies Business Unit, we are looking for the right buyer with a sustainable growth perspective who is willing to invest in this business and generate more synergies.”

“In the future, we will concentrate our water business on solutions along our core areas of expertise in electrical engineering.

“These are in the automation and drive technology used to operate waterworks and sewage plants as well as sea water desalination plants,” he added.

Conor McGlone

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