* Siemens supervisory board meets on Wednesday
* Board to sign off on some details of Osram spin-off
* Sources said Siemens to keep less than 20 pct stake
* Sources said Osram board to approve restructuring plan
FRANKFURT, Nov 28 Siemens AG is
expected to publish details of the long-awaited spin-off of
Osram on Wednesday after its supervisory board meets to set out
a future course for the lighting unit.
Sources have told Reuters that Siemens plans to keep less
than 20 percent of Osram, the world's No. 2 player in the 40
billion euro ($51.9 billion) lighting industry after Philips
, while passing on the rest to its shareholders.
In a separate meeting on Thursday, Osram's supervisory board
is expected to approve plans for a restructuring programme
costing 500 million euros and thousands of jobs, sources have
"Five hundred million euros of restructuring for a company
with roughly 5 billion euros of revenues sounds like a high
number," a London-based analyst said.
Osram will cut jobs mostly outside its German home market as
part of the programme, sources have said, having already shrunk
its workforce by 2,000 to 39,000 over the past year.
"I would clearly take (a programme of that magnitude) as a
sign that management is keen to give the new company a good
start and to spare Osram's new shareholders costs associated
with lapses of the past," the analyst said.
Osram, whose brand is 106 years old, has been slow to adapt
to a shift from traditional light bulbs to more energy efficient
and durable light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as parent Siemens shied
away from investing in the semiconductor-based technology.
Meanwhile, Asian rivals such as South Korea's LG Electronics
and Samsung Electronics have built up
capacity, driving down prices.
Sources have told Reuters that Osram will publish the
prospectus for its listing on Dec. 7, which should provide
investors with the financial details they need before approving
the planned spin-off at Siemens' annual general meeting on Jan.
23 and deciding whether to keep or sell Osram shares.
"It is not a question of price but of the story," said
Stephan Thomas, who manages Frankfurt Trust's FT
Frankfurt-Effekten-Fonds, with a volume of almost 2
billion euros including about 1.4 million Siemens shares.
Before making a decision, he said he would want to hear more
from Osram's management about the company's growth, margins and
capital structure, whether it aimed to pay shareholders a
dividend and what plans it had for the future.
Consultancy McKinsey sees the LED market reaching a volume
of almost 65 billion euros by 2020, accounting for close to 60
percent of the overall lighting market.
LEDs are used to for flat-screen televisions and tablet PCs
but are also becoming increasingly popular as a source of
general lighting, in shops or restaurants, for outdoor displays,
or for headlights in cars.
($1 = 0.7713 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)