Siemens AG won’t be able to list shares of its underperforming Osram lighting unit in April as some shareholders filed a motion against the legal registration of the spinoff.
The move will block the listing for now, Europe’s biggest engineering company said in an e-mailed statement today. Siemens, based in Munich, said earlier this year it wants to exit the business as quickly as possible, without giving a specific timeframe.
About 98 percent of Shareholders approved the spinoff of Osram in January after the company canceled a plan for an initial public offering of the business last year after realizing that investments to keep pace in the lighting market would be too great to shoulder. Siemens investors will receive one Osram share for every 10 shares they own.
Siemens said today it considers the action to be without merit and will “rigorously” drive the planned exit.
“By an overwhelming majority of over 98 percent, Siemens’ shareholders gave us a clear mandate at the AGM: to list Osram on the stock exchange via a spinoff,” Chief Financial Officer Joe Kaeser said. “In the interest of our shareholders, we will carry out this mandate diligently and reliably.”
Siemens, whose shares last year returned only one third of the German DAX benchmark index’s advance, also earmarked units such as airport luggage systems, mail automation and water technology for disposal as it’s combing through its portfolio to weed out laggards. The company in January said that units making trains and low-voltage gear also fell short of their potential in the most recent quarter.
Siemens Chief Executive Officer Peter Loescher, on his second five-year term, has come under pressure to boost profitability and refocus the company after some deals that he supervised soured, and a push into more environmentally friendly energy generation led to spiraling costs. Siemens’ profitability has trailed that at competitors General Electric Co. and ABB Ltd. for six consecutive quarters, according to Bloomberg data.
Today the stock dropped 0.1 percent to 83.84 euros as of 11:04 a.m. in Frankfurt, valuing the company at 74 billion euros ($96 billion).