Since February, Osram has held in-depth talks with the two US financial investors Bain Capital and The Carlyle Group. The Munich-based group has now confirmed that it has received a binding takeover bid of 35 euros per Osram share. Osram values the total volume at 3,4 billion euros.
Six years after the spin-off from Siemens, the company is in trouble. After two profit warnings last year, which resulted in sales of 4,1 billion euros and growth of 2 percent, the Managing Board is now forecasting a significant drop in sales of 11 to 14 percent for this year. The reason is the continuing weakness of the automotive industry, general lighting and mobile devices.
The downturn in the automotive business is particularly affecting the core business of the Osram subsidiary Opto Semiconductors, headquartered in Regensburg, Germany. It develops and supplies components for special automotive lighting and has been able to help the Group in recent years from a number of sales lows.
Change with or without a change in leadership?
If Osram goes to the financial investors, CEO Olaf Berlien could leave the company, according to Handelsblatt. It is also conceivable, however, that he will now be able to operate the restructuring of the group that has already begun in the direction of high technology with a financial tailwind. Only last week Osram sold the Siteco luminaire business, which was no longer considered profitable. With this move, the Executive Board intends to further advance its orientation as a photonics group.
According to Handelsblatt, an investor agreement has already been negotiated. The takeover bid will now be examined by Osram's Supervisory Board and a