|Bid||96.89 x 44200|
|Ask||96.92 x 100000|
|Day's Range||96.52 - 97.42|
|52 Week Range||84.42 - 112.12|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.81|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||17.99|
|Earnings Date||Nov 7, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||3.80 (3.92%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Marco Krapels left Tesla Inc. and started a battery company in a place that’s a hemisphere away from California’s rarefied clean-energy scene: Brazil.Krapels, Tesla’s former vice president for international expansion of solar and storage, now runs Sao Paulo-based MicroPower-Comerc. The company, backed by Siemens AG, is pushing to use big mobile batteries to wean Latin America’s largest economy off oil-fired generators during blackouts.It won’t be easy. Brazil offers almost no government subsidies for renewable energy and imposes stiff import taxes. The nation’s market for big batteries, meanwhile, is hardly existent. Nonetheless, Krapels sees opportunity in a place with an occasionally unstable power grid and a robust market for wind and solar.“This is not for the faint of heart, but I think there’s an advantage on being the first to move into a market,” Krapels said by phone.Much of Brazil’s power sector is already carbon-free, with about two-thirds of electricity coming from hydropower. Developers have also aggressively developed wind farms in recent years, including in the breeze-rich region of Serra Branca. But businesses regularly turn to diesel generators during blackouts that are endemic in some areas.Krapels began exploring the potential for batteries in Brazil when he worked for SolarCity, which Tesla acquired in 2016. He wanted a large market with an unreliable power system and no significant government subsidies, which force companies to depend on political cycles. Brazil checked all those boxes.MicroPower, founded last year, offers to deliver on-site lithium-ion storage systems to big-box stores, hotels and other large commercial and industrial customers to use instead of diesel when lights go dark. The systems, which MicroPower owns and maintains, also allow customers to save money by storing up electricity at night when it’s cheap, then using it during the day when prices spike. The company has installed pilot systems at a Coca-Cola bottling plant and a McDonald’s restaurant.Comerc Energia, a Sao Paulo-based energy trading and management company, took an undisclosed stake in the company about 18 months ago. In July, Siemens’s investment arm took a 20% stake.One of MicroPower’s primary challenges is navigating Brazil’s complex tax and regulatory structure. The company doesn’t manufacture its systems, and Brazil’s import taxes tack on about 65% to its battery costs. To get around that issue, MicroPower is exploring buying battery components abroad and assembling them in Brazil, said Peter Conklin, a former SunEdison Inc. executive who co-founded MicroPower and is its chief operating officer.BloombergNEF expects cumulative global battery storage capacity to soar from 29.4 gigawatt-hours this year to 710.6 gigawatt-hours in 2029. The amount of storage in Brazil, however, is negligible, according to BNEF. While investors have begun to take interest in the market, storage companies have not gained much traction.“Intuitively it sounds quite attractive to combine resiliency with economic advantage within the commercial and industrial segment,” BNEF analyst Logan Goldie-Scot said. “But in practice that’s been quite hard to get off the ground.”To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Millan Lombrana in Santiago at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Luzi Ann Javier at email@example.com, Joe Ryan, Pratish NarayananFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Osram Licht AG recommended a 3.7 billion-euro ($4.1 billion) takeover bid from AMS AG on the basis of price, risking a backlash from labor groups worried about potential job cuts that may come with the deal.The terms of AMS’s 38.50 euro-a share proposal eclipse Osram’s lingering concerns about how the takeover will be funded, the German lighting maker said in a statement on Monday. The Munich-based former Siemens AG unit had previously backed a lower offer from private equity groups Bain Capital and Carlyle Group LP.The show of support for AMS gives the Austrian sensor maker a boost in a months-long battle for Osram, which came into play after a series of profit warnings more than halved its share price over the course of a year. Bain and Carlyle are considering increasing their 3.4 billion-euro offer, people familiar with the matter said last month, which could switch the initiative back their way.Osram said differences remain with ASM over “some important strategic elements” that require further discussion, though that may not be enough to appease unions and employee representatives, who make up half of Osram’s supervisory board. They have questioned AMS’s planned savings from the deal, saying they would lead to job losses and facility closures in Germany.“The decision today was made against the wishes of the employee representatives,” said Johann Horn, leader of the IG Metall Bayern. “Even the management board is not convinced of the concept that AMS has tabled.”AMS Chief Executive Officer Alexander Everke defended his company’s credentials, saying its “commitments are the same if not better than that of Bain and Carlyle.” Osram shares traded 0.5% higher at 37.70 euros per share as of 10:24 a.m. in Frankfurt, while AMS declined as much as 4.9% in Zurich.Investor SupportMeetings between AMS and its investors across Europe, the U.S. and Asia over the last two weeks revealed “strong support” for its plan to buy Osram, AMS said in a separate statement on Monday. It reduced the minimum acceptance rate for its offer to 62.5% from 70%, though won’t be able to count on Osram CEO Olaf Berlien, who will not tender his personal stock.AMS shareholders still need to approve a capital raise to finance the transaction that will increase debt, but that “will be reduced to where it was before the deal within two years,” Everke said.The bidding war began in July, when AMS offered to counter a bid from Bain and Carlyle. AMS’s proposal was cleared last week by the country’s financial watchdog, allowing offers to remain open until Oct. 1.(Adds union comment in fifth paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected to say Osram recommended, not rejected, the offer by AMS.)To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Sachgau in Munich at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, John Bowker, Andrew NoëlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Siemens and Orascom Construction signed an agreement on Saturday with the Iraqi government to rebuild two power plants in the north of the country that will have a combined capacity of 1.6 gigawatts. Siemens said that work at the Baiji facility, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, will commence once Iraq's Council of Ministers approve the deal and a financial agreement is reached with the Finance Ministry. Iraq signed five-year "roadmap" agreements with GE and Siemens AG last October under which the country plans to spend about $14 billion on new plants, repairs, power lines and, eventually, equipment to capture for use natural gas that is now being flared off.
ZURICH/MUNICH (Reuters) - Siemens board member Michael Sen is the favourite to lead its new standalone energy business, sources have told Reuters, removing one of the frontrunners from the race to succeed Joe Kaeser as head of the German industrial company. Sen is in pole position when the supervisory board of the Munich-based company meets on Wednesday to decide who will lead the business it is spinning off and floating, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The move could clear the way for Siemens Chief Operating Officer Roland Busch to lead the trains to industrial software company when Chief Executive Kaeser steps down.
(Bloomberg) -- The regulator who’s made a name for herself by cracking down on tech giants is about to get even more power.Margrethe Vestager was picked Tuesday by EU Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen to be her executive vice president in charge of the bloc’s digital affairs –- a post that will hand the Dane oversight of issues relating to artificial intelligence, big data, innovation and cybersecurity.Even more concerning for those hoping to avoid billion-dollar fines, Vestager, 51, will also keep her job as one of the most feared antitrust regulators. She squeezed huge penalties out of Apple Inc. and Google, rousing wrathful tweets from U.S. President Donald Trump. Washington’s ire only raised her own profile, making her a close-run candidate to head the EU commission and landing her with a potentially powerful role as vice president in charge of digital policy.Silicon Valley firms probably have the sense of “better the devil you know” when they see Vestager return for another five years, said Pablo Ibanez Colomo, a law professor at the London School of Economics. “They know pretty much where she comes from and know her style” of strict enforcement.While the Dane dealt coolly with criticism, claiming she didn’t deliberately target tech companies for antitrust and tax cases, she often shied away from attempts to settle investigations without fines. Being resolute won her admiration but also sparked irritation in Paris and Berlin when she blocked the Siemens AG and Alstom SA rail deal they favored. She’s spent the last few months trying to sell herself as a politician prepared to act on fears that Europe is being left behind by China and the U.S., especially on technology.One of her first acts after taking office in 2014 was to start up a stalled Google investigation that her predecessor had come under fire for trying to settle. The Alphabet Inc. unit had to hand over 8.2 billion euros ($9.1 billion) in fines for three probes, make changes that saw it start charging for its Android phone software in Europe and alter shopping ads. It still faces the risk of more fines from fresh investigations and complaints it isn’t complying with existing antitrust orders.Vestager’s new post lets her move beyond the limits of antitrust enforcement, often criticized for ordering too few changes too late to help less powerful rivals. She’s paid close attention to how internet platforms host smaller companies they also compete with, an issue for Amazon.com Inc. in a probe the EU opened in July and also the subject of complaints targeting Apple Inc. and Google.Her work is “not an attack on businesses, this is an attempt for democracy to shape our society,” she told reporters on Tuesday. She described her new role as helping to plug gaps identified by antitrust investigations, pointing to recent rules that allow small companies to get answers from internet platforms if they think they are being treated unfairly. The measures appear to target issues raised by the EU’s Google probes.“That is a kind of regulation that you might see more of,” she said. “We had the insight from the specific cases but that insight will also lead you to consider more regulation.”Vestager will take over as digital chief at a time when the European Commission is coordinating the bloc’s 5G security, grappling with what role Huawei Technologies Co. should play in the build-out of the infrastructure, as the U.S. urges Europe to block the Chinese telecom giant in spite of the risks posed by angering an important trade partner.France’s Sylvie Goulard, picked as internal market commissioner, will work more directly on defining standards for 5G mobile and next-generation networks, cybersecurity rules and response strategies, along with leading industrial and defense policy.Von der Leyen told Vestager to coordinate work on an EU approach on the ethical implications of AI within the first 100 days of the mandate and look at ways to share non-personal big data. She must also coordinate work to find international agreement on a tax on digital companies by the end of 2020 or to propose a fair European levy. And to deal with fears that China unfairly undercuts European firms, she has been told to tackle the distortion of foreign state ownership and subsidies.Vestager and other commission nominees face hearings in early October at the European Parliament before lawmakers vote on their posts.“She will be very positively seen and she’s intelligent and smart enough” to win over lawmakers, said Andreas Schwab, a German member of the parliament.(Adds comments from law professor and Vestager starting in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Lyubov Pronina.To contact the reporters on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.org;Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter ChapmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ever since humans first rode in an elevator more than a century ago we’ve been afraid of getting stuck in one (or worse). The related requirement that these modern marvels are serviced and upgraded regularly is pretty handy for industry leaders Otis, Kone Oyj, Schindler and Thyssenkrupp AG. The companies generate about half their elevator revenues this way, as opposed to the lower-margin sales of original equipment.In good years Otis and Kone have achieved an operating return on sales in excess of 14%. That’s decent for the industrial sector, although a competitive Chinese market has made things more difficult lately.Tough safety regulations and the need to support big teams of technicians are a natural defense against new competitors. The four companies I mentioned have locked up more than 60 percent of the elevator market. Three of them are European.(1)The decent profitability and oligopolistic industry structure are big attractions for would-be acquirers of Thyssenkrupp’s elevator unit, which the German conglomerate has put up for sale. But the big four’s dominance won’t have gone unnoticed by antitrust officials, who could play a central role in determining how any further consolidation plays out.Depending on the bidder, any political desire to build a European elevator champion may run into resistance from those who fear entrenching the power of already dominant companies (as happened when Germany’s Siemens AG and France’s Alstom SA tried to merge their rail businesses).Thyssenkrupp isn’t the only active player in the industry. United Technologies Corp.’s move to spin out its Otis elevator unit has triggered speculation that the U.S. manufacturer might also get involved in M&A. Last week, Switzerland’s Schindler denied a report that it had been targeted by its American rival. Finland’s Kone, meanwhile, is open about wanting to buy the Thyssenkrupp business, telling the Handelsblatt newspaper last week that the two companies would be “a perfect fit.”Combining Kone and the Thyssenkrupp unit would create an industry behemoth with more than 16 billion euros ($17.7 billion) of sales. Though weaker than Kone’s, Thyssenkrupp’s elevator earnings have tended to far outstrip what the unwieldy German conglomerate makes from its other businesses. Its future should be bright too.Urbanization, aging populations and more single-person households are all spurring the construction of denser, taller residential buildings, especially in Asia. China accounts for more than 60% of the world’s new elevator installations.It’s reasonable to think the Thyssenkrupp elevator business would be worth about 15 billion euros if carved out – double the value investors ascribe to the whole conglomerate today. Add a premium for potential synergies and the value could rise further. Kone and Thyssenkrupp would complement each other well: the former is stronger in China while the latter has a bigger U.S. business. And the potential procurement, research and labor force savings from a merger would surely beat any earnings improvements that a private equity buyer could deliver by itself.The big question is whether antitrust officials would agree to two of the big four elevator firms merging? It’s barely a decade since the European Union smacked the companies with almost 1 billion euros in fines for running a price-fixing cartel in several countries. Company employees rigged bids involving hospitals, the European Commision noted. Hardly a good precedent.Thyssenkrupp is burning cash and its stock has fallen more than 35% in the past year. It can ill afford to get involved in another protracted and ultimately unsuccessful antitrust review. Earlier this year Brussels blocked an attempt to combine its European steel operations with Tata Steel. Kone could sell certain assets to ease competition concerns. Still, it’s understandable that Thyssenkrupp is said to favor a partial sale to private equity, according to Bloomberg News’s Aaron Kirchfeld and colleagues. This might not realize the highest price but it’s surely the easier deal to pull off, provided trade unions can be reassured.Europe has three world-beating elevator makers. Reducing the trio to two has clear benefits for the companies. What’s in it for customers isn’t quite so obvious. (1) The maintenance business is more fragmented, however.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
One of Germany’s leading industrialists has criticised the Merkel government’s insistence on balanced budgets, saying the government should be taking advantage of historically low interest rates to invest ...
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that Germany remained open to business even as her government raises barriers to investments in sensitive areas.Germany’s tightened investment rules are meant to vet outside investors in strategic sectors, Merkel told reporters at a joint press conference with her Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Friday at the start of a two-day visit to China. Li pledged that China would further open its economy.“Not every assessment means that every investment is blocked, rather in strategic or sensitive areas that have to be looked after -- still, Chinese investors are welcome,” Merkel said. She also urged an end to the China-U.S. trade war to return calm to global markets.The chancellor faces a delicate set of policy objectives during the visit, in which she’s being accompanied by a delegation of some 25 business leaders, including executives from Volkswagen AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Siemens AG. The German leader is seeking to maintain a tougher stance with Beijing while urging a resolution of the trade war and continuing to press for reciprocal access to China’s lucrative market.Germany is toughening its policy toward China on matters such as investment and intellectual property, joining governments from Japan to Canada and Australia taking a harder line on China as President Donald Trump steps up his trade war. But it’s an especially high-risk strategy for Berlin at a time when its export-dependent economy is flirting with recession.The German leader said her goal is for trade relations with China to be an example for multilateral trade amid tensions in the global order. She cited the “urgency” of clenching an investment accord by the second half of 2020. That’s when Germany plans to host a an EU-Chinese leaders’ summit.Indicative of Merkel’s balancing act is her approach to the unrest in Hong Kong. While her administration urged Beijing to engage in dialog and respect the rule of law, Merkel has declined an invitation to meet with protesters.Hong Kong citizens’ “rights and freedoms must of course be guaranteed,” Merkel said alongside Li on Friday.The visit got off to a bumpy start when Chinese authorities initially blocked German media based in Beijing from attending the Merkel-Li press conference, a government spokeswoman in Berlin confirmed. Only after the German government intervened were four local journalists allowed in, she said. Adding to the awkwardness was the protocol during the military ceremony in front of the Great Hall of the People. While Merkel sat during the playing of the Chinese anthem, Li rose from his seat.After a series of shivering fits during the summer, Merkel has resorted to sitting during military parades. All other leaders she has received since then, including U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, had also remained seated.Chinese state media advocated more open markets between Germany and China, stressing opportunities for cooperation ahead of Merkel’s visit, including areas such as climate change and trade.“There is an urgent need for Germany and China to safeguard an open global economy and ensure that normal international trade should not be disrupted by protectionist tariffs,” the official Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary.Merkel later met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who hosted a dinner for the German leader. Xi told Merkel that China would continue to open its economy in sectors including manufacturing, services and finance, according to Xinhua.(Adds German spokesman in ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jihye Lee.To contact the reporters on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at email@example.com;Dandan Li in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org;Arne Delfs in Berlin at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org, Raymond ColittFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the start of a visit to Beijing on Friday that the China-U.S. trade war was affecting the whole world and she hoped it would be resolved soon. Germany's firms have been caught in the crossfire of a U.S.-China trade conflict, its economy - Europe's largest - contracted on weaker exports in the second quarter, and leading economists say it is facing a recession, especially after weak industrial data published this week.
Russian conglomerate Rostec has sold its stake in a sanctioned technology company that was embroiled in a scandal over the installation in annexed Crimea of turbines made by Germany's Siemens , Rostec told Reuters on Thursday. The 17.34% stake in Interavtomatika was sold by Rostec unit Tekhnopromexport in June to a Russian research institute for 67 million roubles ($1 million), a filing at the state bankruptcy registry showed.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.When Siemens AG sold a corporate bond at the most negative yield ever recorded, there was disappointment -- by those who were left out.In Vienna, money manager Thomas Neuhold at Gutmann Kapitalanlage AG expressed regret that he didn’t have enough cash Tuesday in a busy day of corporate issuance to put in an order for the oversubscribed 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion) sale. Paying a company to lend to it for two to five years is preferable to accepting below-zero yields on German government debt for three decades, according to Neuhold.“Compared to all other options, short-term corporates are the least bad option,” said the money manager at the 9 billion euro asset firm. “I still see much more reason to buy a negative-yielding short term Siemens than a 30-year bund.”That sentiment is opening the door to an unprecedented wave of deals that allow companies to lock in below-zero yields in the primary market, in effect being paid to borrow. The stockpile of negative obligations across all markets just hit a record $17 trillion, and could swell further as markets gripped by recession fears drive government benchmarks to record lows.More market participants may share Neuhold’s regret over Siemens’ bonds. Those who got in at issue reaped a quick paper profit as the notes are quoted above issue price on their second day of trading. The sale, in four maturities, included two-year notes yielding -0.315%, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. A five-year portion also featured a negative yield, while tranches due in 10 and 15 years paid positive yields. German debt due in 2050 yields -0.22%.A fresh injection of European Central Bank stimulus in coming weeks is expected to push yields even further below zero, potentially spurring gains for traders of negative-yielding bonds so long as they don’t hold the debt to maturity.JPMorgan Chase & Co. expects that it will soon be commonplace for European companies to stamp negative yields on new borrowings. Trading levels of companies with the same ratings as German industrial giant Siemens, single A, show they can basically borrow for free in euros, according to a Bloomberg Barclays index.“Investors may try to push back on some of the initial deals, but within a few months they will be considered relatively normal structures,” JPMorgan strategists including Matthew Bailey wrote in an Aug. 23 note.Read More: The Black Hole Engulfing the World’s Bond MarketsCompanies have issued more than 6.5 billion euros of new bonds this year at negative yields, where they levied a cost on investors for the privilege of lending to them. Before this year, just four issues totaling 2.5 billion euros were sold with negative yields, according to Bloomberg data.It’s a development that flummoxes Christian Hantel, a portfolio manager at Vontobel Asset Management AG, who’s spent the past 15 years analyzing and investing in corporate credit. He decided not to participate in the new issue from Siemens and doesn’t regret it.“This shows how distorted the market is,” said Hantel, who’s looking for U.S.-dollar denominated alternatives.But even the most resolute investors may soon grow to accept negative yields on new corporate debt, according to JPMorgan strategists. “Investors still have cash to deploy, and few other alternatives to buy,” they wrote.(Adds details on previous issues in ninth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Tasos Vossos in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Hannah Benjamin at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Vivianne Rodrigues at email@example.com, Cecile Gutscher, Sid VermaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If you are searching for the EU’s next bad idea, look no further than the “European Future Fund.” The 100 billion euro ($110 billion) pot, first reported in Politico, would be a way to boost strategic sectors which are seen as lagging behind China and the U.S.It’s not a formal policy plan, and the details are still scanty. But Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European Commission, would be wise to ignore the proposal. Europe needs to pool resources in other areas, starting, for example, with a fund to help euro-zone member states stabilize their economies when they face shocks. It’s best to leave most of industrial policy to national governments, making sure they do so fairly.The “European Future Fund” has been dubbed a sovereign wealth fund – except that it isn’t. The EU is not a sovereign state and will not become one for the foreseeable future. The EU would not be tapping any existing “wealth” or natural resources. A sovereign wealth fund like Norway’s – which uses income generated by its oil and gas reserves – is a way to ensure that such riches are not wasted on current spending, but invested to guarantee future prosperity. The EU would simply be using existing budget resources to create such a fund in the hope of attracting money from the private sector.Any help for Europe’s so-called strategic sectors should be handled with care. There is merit in launching joint R&D initiatives, such as the partnership France and Germany have set up to develop electric car batteries. But it is less clear why the EU should intervene to stop takeovers of individual firms by foreign companies, which seems to be at least one of the reasons to set up this fund. Does the Commission have the ability to manage a stake in a fast-growing tech firm? With what objectives? At what price will the acquisition take place? The risk is that fewer European start-ups will grow if they fear they can’t be sold to a deep-pocketed foreign rival. Take no offense, but Google can be a much more attractive buyer than any “European Future Fund.”The Commission is going at the problem the wrong way. Several member states – France and Germany in particular – have decided that the reason why Europe is not fertile ground for innovation is that companies are not allowed to develop to an adequate size to compete with rivals from China and Silicon Valley. They argue that competition policy needs updating, which is really a polite way to say it needs to be watered down. This argument is misplaced in several ways. Economic studies have found no direct relationship between how large and how innovative a business is. Moreover, the Commission rarely blocks mergers between companies that operate in similar industries. If a state wants to step in and buy a company at its market price and manage it in a competitive manner, there is no reason why it can’t.Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s departing competition commissioner, has offered some meaningful resistance to this Franco-German push, for example blocking the rail merger between Alstom SA and Siemens AG. But it’s unclear that any new commissioner, assuming she moves on to another role, will be as combative. The EU needs a strong enforcer of competition more than any lofty new fund.To contact the author of this story: Ferdinando Giugliano at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Ferdinando Giugliano writes columns on European economics for Bloomberg Opinion. He is also an economics columnist for La Repubblica and was a member of the editorial board of the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The slender boat lurches forward, its four passengers clinging to the wooden deck as they surge past the Monaco skyline. For all its sculpted lines and awesome acceleration, the white cruiser wouldn’t be out of place with climate activist Greta Thunberg at the wheel, rather than the moneyed elite flocking to the principality in search of a new toy.“Such aggressive acceleration is only possible with electric drives,” says Peter Minder, as he commands the 250,000-euro ($277,000) boat built by his company Designboats.ch. Only the air stream and a high-pitched buzz from twin electric engines betray a speed of almost 30 miles per hour. “Our clients increasingly want to enjoy their maritime hobbies without emissions and noise. But they still want to have fun.”While electric cars are a realistic alternative to the century-old internal-combustion engine, the world’s waterways are dominated by ships that belch plumes of diesel exhaust and heavy fuel oil. But because of long life cycles and a shortage of charging infrastructure and advanced batteries, converting ships is difficult. That hasn’t stopped governments from Norway to Thailand insisting on a greener future.Monaco, just a speck on the global map, wants to play a part. The city state attracts some of the most luxurious—and thirsty—private yachts, and Minder presented his electric cruiser there together with Torqeedo, a German maker of boat engines that’s emerged as a leader in the industry. It’s done so under the roof of an unlikely owner—heavy-machine engine maker Deutz AG—which bought Torqeedo in 2017 to diversify its more conventional portfolio.RELATED: Hinckley Yachts Unveils World’s First Fully Electric Luxury BoatThis year, Torqeedo aims to sell its 100,000th electric engine, most of which power smaller leisure boats. But Torqeedo has its eyes on a bigger slice of the market.“We expect a lot from ferries and water taxis, and we want to be a player when Amsterdam, Paris, and Venice electrify their fleets,” company founder Christoph Ballin said.Monaco has committed to cutting CO2 emissions in half by 2030 and become carbon neutral by the middle of the century. Amsterdam aims to gradually ban all combustion engines, which applies to boats and ships, in a large part of the city from 2025. Paris plans to reach that stage by 2030. Norway wants two thirds of its car ferries to be battery powered by 2030, with a view to also electrify the fisheries fleet, according to Prime Minister Erna Solberg.“Electric drives are increasingly playing a role for vessels of limited size and for limited distances—on lakes and rivers, and near the coast,” said Peter Mueller-Baum, a managing director at Germany’s VDMA machinery association. “This could become an important segment, because it theoretically encompasses a large number of vessels.”There are already Torqeedo-powered ships on several continents. In southern Spain, a solar-driven ferry for 120 passengers covers a distance of almost 10 kilometers eight times a day on the Mar Menor lagoon. Smog-plagued Bangkok is readying seven ferries that will operate along the Khlong Phadung canal later this year, and there are also ferries with Torqeedo drives in Dubai, and in Ottawa.Even Thunberg, the Swedish green activist, turned to Torqeedo technology for her trans-Atlantic traverse in a sailing vessel this month, when several tender boats with electric propulsion escorted her ship out of Plymouth harbor in the U.K.For parent Deutz, Torqeedo is a laboratory to study alternative drives. The company, which has produced combustion engines for more than 150 years, already kitted out a telescopic handler and a small excavator with an electric drive, as pressure mounts from cities and municipalities to upgrade construction machines and reduce emissions and noise.“Almost all of our customers are more or less intensively looking at electric drives,” said Deutz CEO Frank Hiller.For now, Torqeedo still weighs on its parent company’s accounts. Torqeedo’s operating loss amounted to 8.2 million euros in the first half of this year, according to Deutz’s latest interim report, a deterioration to the previous year’s figure because of a 2.5 million-euro provision tied to product recall from faulty batteries.Torqeedo gets its technology from the road, adapting components from the automotive industry to save development costs and benefit from economies of scale, Ballin said. For example, the power stores for many Torqeedo drives come from BMW.“The hardware is the same, we only change the software,” said Soeren Mohr, who works on electric engines for industrial customers at the Munich-based carmaker.The field in which Torqeedo operates is becoming increasingly crowded. German industrial behemoth Siemens AG has equipped ferries in Norway and Finland. In May, Italian shipyard CCN presented an hybrid-driven super yacht with propulsion systems by Siemens and marine specialist Schottel GmbH.Besides greener credentials, there’s another benefit of switching to battery power, said Felix von Borck, co-founder of German industrial battery producer Akasol AG.“If you own a hundred-meter super yacht or a smaller boat, and you are able to navigate silently and emission-free, you get a better berth.”And in places like Monaco—whether on the crowded landmass or the glitzy harbor below—location is still everything.To contact the author of this story: David Verbeek in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Germany's powerful union IG Metall, which represents the interests of Osram employees in the tussle over the German lighting group's future, on Monday rejected a planned takeover offer from Austrian sensor specialist AMS. "For IG Metall, the strategy behind AMS's offer is still not convincing," a spokeswoman said. AMS plans to buy Osram in a deal that would value the bigger group at 4.3 billion euros ($4.8 billion), trumping a competing bid by finance investors Bain and Carlyle.
(Bloomberg) -- AMS AG re-entered the battle for Osram Licht AG with a 3.7 billion euros ($4.1 billion) offer, days after a major shareholder rejected a lower bid by rivals for the German light and sensor maker.Osram soared as much as 11% Monday, following the weekend approach from AMS that values the target at 38.50 euros a share. That compares with the 35 euros-a-share from private-equity firms Bain Capital and Carlyle Group, thrown into jeopardy last week when top investor, Allianz Global Investors, rejected it as too low.The new offer is in line with an earlier bid that Austrian sensor maker AMS mooted but then withdrew almost a month ago.Osram “raised valid concerns in the past, and I think with the offer we provided them yesterday, we answered all their concerns,” AMS Chief Executive Officer Alexander Everke said in a call with reporters on Monday. “We have been looking at Osram for a long time.”AMS shares fell 8.7% in Zurich. Osram traded at 35.09 euros as of 9:07 a.m. in Frankfurt.AMS is in regular contact with investors, including Allianz, Everke said on the call. Allianz is a shareholder of both companies, holding about 0.38% in AMS and 9.3% of Osram, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Osram became a takeover target after a series of profit warnings and a public spat over strategy with Siemens AG, which spun off the division in 2013. Its earnings have suffered because of the company’s exposure to the automotive industry, which accounts for over half of its revenue.Carmakers and suppliers are grappling with shrinking demand in China and Europe and the expensive transition to electric cars. Investors also lost confidence in the ability of CEO Olaf Berlien and management to turn the company around. The stock has lost more than half its value since peaking in early 2018.“This counter bid will test how keen the private-equity consortium is for the Osram asset as AMS has now secured financing to offer 10% more per share,” Morgan Stanley analyst Lucie Carrier said in a note.If AMS were successful in its takeover attempt, it would sell off Osram’s digital division that makes lighting controls for use in horticultural and medical systems, among others. The company would also not touch Osram’s collective bargaining agreements for five years, according to the statement.(Updates with AMS CEO comment in sixth paragraph)\--With assistance from Eyk Henning.To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Sachgau in Munich at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, John BowkerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Corindus Vascular Robotics (NYSE: CVRS ) shares are trading higher after the company announced it will be acquired by Siemens Healthineers AG for $4.28 per share in cash representing an aggregate purchase ...
Siemens Healthineers has agreed to buy Corindus Vascular Robotics for $1.1 billion in the biggest acquisition since the Siemens subsidiary listed on the stock market last year. Healthineers is paying $4.28 per share for Massachusetts-based Corindus, which develops robotic systems for minimally invasive vascular therapy procedures, a 77% premium to the U.S. company's closing price on Wednesday. Systems produced by Corindus, which has approximately 100 employees, allow doctors to guide catheters and stent implants with controlling modules.
Siemens Healthineers has agreed to buy Corindus Vascular Robotics for $1.1 billion in the biggest acquisition since the Siemens subsidiary listed on the stock market last year. Healthineers is paying $4.28 per share for Massachusetts-based Corindus, which develops robotic systems for minimally invasive vascular therapy procedures, a 77% premium to the U.S. company's closing price on Wednesday.