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November 11, 2012

Siemens to reorganize its water business

Gerald Ondrey

Siemens AG (Munich, Germany; www.siemens.com) has decided to reorganize its activities in the water business. The company intends to focus in the future on automation and drive solutions for the control of water applications for municipalities and industry. The Business Unit known as Siemens Water Technologies, which offers solutions for municipal and industrial water purification and wastewater treatment, is to be sold along with the corresponding service activities. “This business shows only minor synergies with our industrial portfolio, as the skills for water treatment are primarily based on chemical expertise. Instead of investing into that business, we want to gear our resources toward our core portfolio,” says Siegfried Russwurm, member of the Siemens AG Managing Board and CEO of the Industry Sector. Siemens Water Technologies is active predominantly in the North American market and recently underwent a comprehensive restructuring. Strengthening Siemens’ core activities is one of the five main action fields in the corporate program “Siemens 2014”.

“In the future, we will concentrate our water business on solutions along our core areas of expertise in electrical engineering. These are in the automation and drive technology used to operate waterworks and sewage plants as well as sea water desalination plants,” says Anton S. Huber, CEO of the Industry Automation Division at Siemens. “For the business, which is organized in the Water Technologies Business Unit, we are looking for the right buyer with a sustainable growth perspective who is willing to invest in this business and generate more synergies.”

The products and services provided by Water Technologies comprise a number of different biological, chemical, and mechanical methods for the treatment of water and wastewater. The bulk of this business is geared to the standards in North America. Beyond that, the rest of the worldwide water market is highly fragmented and dominated by local solutions. The activities of the Business

Unit have been put on an economically sound basis in the past 18 months and strategically geared to customers in municipalities and various industrial sectors. A large part of the portfolio is accounted for by business with municipalities with a strong regional bias toward the U.S. and Canada, while a smaller portion comprises the treatment of process water and wastewater from industrial companies. Siemens Water Technologies also operates its own research center in Singapore, which includes a novel and extremely energy-efficient technique for electrochemical desalination of seawater. About 4,500 employees work for Siemens Water Technologies worldwide, of whom 3,000 are located in North America.

Siemens Industry Automation will continue as before to operate the business with solutions for the control, management, and instrumentation of water processes, which is part of the Industrial Automation Systems Business Unit. Essentially, these are solutions based on the Simatic PCS7 process control system and process instruments such as flow, pressure, and level meters. There is also drive technology — for pipelines, pumps, and agitators, for example — that are marketed by the Siemens Drive Technologies Division. This portfolio of products is used by municipal sewage treatment plants and waterworks and by industrial companies in such diverse sectors as automotive, mining, chemicals, electronics manufacturing, oil and gas, food production and pharmaceuticals.

 

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