UPDATE 1-UK's Smiths Group chief likely to step down next year -report

(Adds Smiths Group response)

Dec 29 (Reuters) - Smiths Group Plc’s Chief Executive Andy Reynolds Smith will likely step down next year after a demerger of its medical unit, the Sunday Times reported.

Reynolds Smith has been under pressure from investors since the British engineer's planned merger with U.S.-based ICU Medical fell off in September as both the companies failed to agree on terms, the report said here.

In March, Smiths Group had announced the listing of its healthcare business, which makes respiratory devices and catheters, as it focuses on industrial technology services.

A Smiths Group spokesman said the company refutes the claim that Reynolds Smith will step down after the demerger.

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Chris Reese