Sulzer’s Stahlmann Forms Larger Service Unit in Division Shakeup

Sulzer Chief Executive Officer Klaus Stahlmann formed new divisions for the pumpmaker as he moulds ambitions around a sleeker company ahead of the anticipated sale of a unit making coatings for aircraft engines.

The Swiss company will create a new unit called Services from the maintenance arms of a pump unit and a separate division overhauling turbines and compressors, it said today. Sulzer will also set up a separate water business unit within the reduced-size pumps division, which will be renamed Pumps Equipment.

The new setup, designed to make Sulzer more streamlined and focused on its core markets, will be implemented as of January, the Winterthur-based company said in a statement today.

Sulzer shares have declined since July as investors reacted to reduced profit guidance and the announcement of plans to sell Metco, which contributed 18 percent of group sales last year. Stahlmann outlined a plan last month to cut 300 jobs to reverse losses from under-used wastewater pump factories in Europe. Plans also included eliminating 100 positions at Sulzer’s headquarters in Winterthur.

Sulzer intends to complete the sale of Metco, the world’s largest maker of thermal spray coatings, by the first quarter of next year, using the proceeds to fund acquisitions and organic growth in the remaining units. Russian Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg is Sulzer’s largest shareholder through his Renova Group investment vehicle.

Sulzer appointed former MAN SE manager Stahlmann as chief executive officer in February 2012 replacing Ton Buechner, who left to become CEO of Dutch paintmaker Akzo Nobel NV.

In addition to Metco, Sulzer may carve out its Chemtech unit, which makes equipment for oil refineries, and list it on the stock exchange, Handelszeitung reported Oct. 31, without saying where it got the information. Sulzer has no plans to further change its portfolio, company spokeswoman Verena Goelkel said at the time.

Sulzer entered the wastewater pumps business by acquiring Cardo Flow Solutions in 2011. It paid $935 million to Assa Abloy AB for the business in a deal brokered by Buechner.

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