(Reuters) – Siemens Energy is considering selling a large part of its 24% stake in Indian-listed Siemens Ltd to former parent Siemens AG to shore up its balance sheet, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The stake is currently worth around $3.5 billion and a partial sale would be a quick way for the German maker of wind and gas turbines to strengthen its capital base as talks with Berlin and Siemens over guarantees for performance bonds continue.
Siemens Energy and Siemens AG both declined to comment.
Siemens AG already owns 51% of Siemens Ltd and raising that stake would be a strategic move the group could justify to its shareholders more easily than issuing guarantees to Siemens Energy, the source said.
The deliberations are one of the options under discussion and there is no guarantee that there will be a transaction, the person said.
Bloomberg, which first reported the possible stake sale, said Siemens Energy may announce the divestment of shares in Siemens Ltd as early as this week, citing people familiar with the matter.
News about the potential disposal comes as Siemens Energy is in talks with the German government, banks and Siemens about seeking 15 billion euros in guarantees to safeguard big industrial projects.
Siemens Energy’s shares hit a record low last week after the company disclosed the talks. On Monday, the shares closed 12.7% higher on hopes the talks will bear fruit.
Sources had told Reuters on Sunday that Siemens Energy was weighing measures to boost its balance sheet, including further asset sales, following a recent deal to sell its Trench high voltage component division to Triton.
($1 = 0.9426 euros)
(Reporting by Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru, Alexander Huebner in Munich, Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt and Andreas Rinke in Accra; Editing by Susan Fenton and Bill Berkrot)