Siemens to sell most of its water technology business AEA Investors for $862 mn

German engineering giant Siemens AG yesterday agreed to sell most of its water technology business to private equity firm AEA Investors for €640 million ($862 million).

Siemens, Germany's second-biggest company by market value, had last year said that it would reorganise its activities in the water business and focus on solutions for the control and management of municipal and industrial water applications.

Siemens is selling the solutions for treating and processing municipal and industrial water and wastewater that are bundled in the Siemens Water Technologies Business Unit, as well as the related service activities..

The unit generated revenues of  $1.3 billion in 2012, according to local media reports.

"In AEA, we're pleased to have found a buyer with experience in industrial investments who wants to continue to drive Water Technologies' business and cultivate existing customer relationships. At Siemens, we will in the future be focusing our water business on solutions in line with our electro technical core competencies in automation and drive technologies," said Siegfried Russwurm, member of Siemens' managing board and CEO of the company's industry sector.

Siemens will retain its water applications for the energy sector's oil and gas business since it has major synergies as well as promising growth potential within its environmental portfolio.

The solutions are used by municipal sewage and water treatment facilities as well as by industrial companies in a wide range of segments – including car making, mining, chemicals, electronics manufacturing, oil and gas, and the production of food, beverages and pharmaceuticals.

However, there are very few synergies between the offerings of Siemens water technologies and the rest of the company's industry portfolio, since expertise in water treatment is found primarily in specialist fields of chemistry.

In addition, the largest part of the business is geared to North American standards. Siemens Water Technologies has around 4,000 employees, three-quarters of whom are in North America.