Siemens Explores Fresh Attempt to Sell Logistics Unit

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, is exploring a fresh attempt to sell its postal and airport logistics unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Munich-based company is discussing options for Siemens Logistics GmbH with potential advisers, the people said, asking not to be identified because discussions are private. It could start gauging interest in the unit, which makes equipment to sort baggage and parcels, as soon as the first half of next year, one of the people said.

Siemens is reviving the sale at a time when companies are increasing logistics spending to cope with the sudden surge in online shopping during the pandemic. It came close to selling control of the business in 2014 to a consortium led by U.S. investor Wilbur Ross, Bloomberg News has reported. Siemens later backed out of the plan and decided to revamp the struggling unit on its own.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said. The company may also wait for a rebound in demand from airport clients, given the slump in travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the people said. A representative for Siemens declined to comment.

The industrial-manufacturing giant has been divesting non-core businesses to become a more manageable entity. Siemens agreed to sell its mechanical-drive unit Flender in October and listed Siemens Energy AG, whose technology is behind roughly one-sixth of the world’s electricity, the month before.

Like Flender, Siemens Logistics is listed among the group’s “portfolio companies,” which are units that operate independently and thus are seen as prime divestment candidates. The business is active in more than 60 countries and counts major airports and postal providers among its clients, according to its website.

Shares of Siemens have risen 11% this year. The stock rose as much as 1.4% in Frankfurt trading on Friday, giving the company a market value of about 100 billion euros ($123 billion).

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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