Siemens in talks to sell stake in household goods venture to Bosch: sources

FRANKFURT Wed May 28, 2014 8:51am EDT

The company logo of Siemens is pictured after an annual news conference in Berlin November 7, 2013.  REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

The company logo of Siemens is pictured after an annual news conference in Berlin November 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tobias Schwarz

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German engineering group Siemens is in final stage talks to sell its 50 percent stake in a household goods joint venture to partner Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL], two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Siemens has been keen to exit BSH Bosch Siemens Haushaltsgeraete, a company which makes vacuum cleaners, freezers, stoves and washing machines, ever since it undertook a strategy review earlier this year.

But auto supplier and engineering company Bosch, which has the right of first refusal to acquire the stake, has yet to agree the terms of any deal, the sources said.

The companies are seeking to reach an agreement in the coming weeks over the valuation of the stake and how brand rights for certain goods will be dealt with in future, they said.

Siemens and Bosch declined comment.

BSH posted earnings before interest and tax of about 509 million euros ($693 million) on revenues of 10.5 billion euros in 2013. It has about 50,000 employees.

Siemens wants to shed the stake as it seeks to pursue another deal with French engineering firm Alstom - most likely in the form of a swap of power and rail assets - designed to trump a $16.9 billion bid by General Electric for the French firm's energy unit.

Bosch, a Stuttgart, Germany-based company which makes ultrasound, radar and video sensors as well as spark plugs, wants to tap into a growing market for internet-enabled devices. Its focus on consumer-facing goods means household items is still strategically relevant.

German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Wednesday that Siemens might sell its stake to Samsung if it is unable to strike a deal with Bosch.

($1 = 0.7345 Euros)

(Reporting by Jens Hack and Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Arno Schuetze and Mark Potter)

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