Siemens considers public listing of healthcare business

Siemens considers public listing of healthcare businessGerman trains-to-turbines group Siemens plans a public listing of its $15 billion healthcare business in a further step to focus on its core strengths of factory automation, industrial software and energy technology, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Executives signaled that Siemens would initially hold on to a majority of the business, which will need increased investments in coming years, but would not commit to how much it might want to float or when.

"We want to control it, to direct it,"
Chief Executive Joe Kaeser told Bloomberg TV.

The move, which follows a carve-out of the business from the rest of the group, takes Siemens in a different direction from global rivals General Electric and Philips, who are doubling down on healthcare as they shed financial services and lighting respectively.

The news overshadowed a cautious outlook for the current fiscal year and a large drop in fourth-quarter orders, lifting Siemens shares 3.6 percent to a two-month high, outperforming a 1.3 percent rise in the German blue-chip.

Siemens has in past decades carried out partial listings, spin-offs, joint ventures and outright sales of its units as it exited the semiconductor, lighting, automotive and communications businesses, among others.

"Current geopolitical developments require our attention to a particularly high degree. We continue to anticipate headwinds for macroeconomic growth and investment sentiment in our markets," Kaeser told a news conference at the group's Munich headquarters.
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