Siemens Backs Out of Airport Technology Sale to Wilbur Ross

Siemens AG backed out of selling its airport and logistics technology unit to New York-based investor Wilbur Ross and plans to turn around the troubled division on its own.

Europe’s largest engineering company will still carve out the business over the next few months, Munich-based Siemens said in a statement. The unit, which makes equipment to sort baggage and parcels, was first put up for sale in November 2012.

“We’ll set up the company so it can operate better and more flexibly in its medium-sized competitive environment,” Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser said in the statement. “And we’ll create the required prerequisites for this: suitable financial resources, appropriate management structures and an appropriate timeframe.”

Siemens is scrapping the four sectors into which it had divided its business, eliminating an administrative layer and putting in question as many as 11,600 jobs. Some of those employees will be reassigned, Kaeser has said, and the company is negotiating with labor representatives before identifying the final number of job cuts.

The move comes as Siemens focuses on electrification, digitalization and automation. Siemens was close to agreeing the sale of a majority stake in the unit to a Ross-led consortium, people familiar told Bloomberg May 5.

Michael Reichle will head the airport and logistics division starting July 1. Reichle is now CEO of the locomotives and components unit.

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