Exclusive-Siemens likely to transfer Siemens Energy stake to pension fund, CFO says

By Thomson Reuters May 24, 2024 | 4:11 AM

By Alexander Hübner

MUNICH (Reuters) -Siemens AG will likely transfer its remaining 17.1% stake in Siemens Energy to the group’s pension fund to avoid diluting the value of the company’s shares via a placement, the group’s finance chief told Reuters.

The comments are the clearest indication yet of Siemens’ plans for the stake which is currently valued at 3.36 billion euros ($3.63 billion) having more than doubled year-to-date.

Siemens Energy was spun off in 2020 and its shares have massively fluctuated as it grapples with issues at its wind turbine business. Siemens CEO Roland Busch said in February the plan was to continue reducing its holding based on the market environment.

“We don’t want to create additional volatility on the capital market at Siemens Energy – the company has had enough of that recently,” CFO Ralph Thomas said in an interview this week.

Munich-based Siemens has in the past transferred shares in its former energy subsidiary to the Siemens pension trust, which is gradually selling them off, while investors have been keen to find out what the company will do with the rest.

“The most likely scenario for our remaining stake is that we will gradually pass it on to our Siemens pension fund,” Thomas said. “This will result in significantly lower transaction costs than a placement on the capital market, for example.”

The Siemens pension fund, which generates company pensions for the group’s employees, currently holds a 7.7% stake in Siemens Energy.

Thomas said Siemens AG would also look into any offers for the stake from outside parties, but he cautioned that due to Siemens Energy’s importance to Europe’s energy transition, any sale to an outside investor should be carefully weighed.

Siemens Energy’s loss-making Gamesa wind turbine division is the world’s largest maker of offshore turbines and unveiled sweeping changes in May as it strives to achieve profitability.

“It’s good to see that Siemens Energy is in calmer waters at the moment,” Thomas added.

($1 = 0.9245 euros)

(Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by Rachel More; Editing by Christoph Steitz, Josephine Mason, Elaine Hardcastle)