Sweden's SKF reviewing Aerospace business ownership

SKF headquarters are pictured in Gothenburg, Sweden September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Johannes Hellstrom

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Swedish bearings maker SKF (SKFb.ST) said on Thursday it was looking at the ownership of its aerospace business, amid ongoing consolidation in the industry, in a strategic review.

In a statement ahead of its capital markets day, SKF confirmed reports of the review of the aerospace business, which brokerage Berenberg said accounts for around 5% of group sales.

Chief Executive Rickard Gustafson said that SKF was unable to commit to a time frame for the review, but said it could reveal areas of "significant shareholder value".

Gustafson said he was open to various outcomes.

"It doesn't mean that we have zoomed in on one solution," the CEO told Reuters, adding it could mean anything from a full divestment, partial divestment or more acquisitions in order to strengthen SKF's position in the industry.

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that a potential sale had been prompted by calls for a change from SKF's second biggest shareholder, activist investor Cevian Capital.

"This review has not been imposed on us from the outside as some of you may have read in recent news. it's clearly part of our strategic framework," Gustafson told the event.

SKF also confirmed its long-term financial targets as well as its outlook for the October-December quarter.

"We expect organic sales growth of about 10% and, as a result, we expect organic growth for the full year to end in the upper part of our previously guided range of about 4-8%."

Reporting by Marie Mannes and Terje Solsvik; Editing by Anna Ringstrom, Susan Fenton and Alexander Smith

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Thomson Reuters

Gdansk-based reporter covering the nordic stock markets and general business news.