The announcement marks the end of a takeover poker that had kept Osram in suspense for more than a year. Six years after the IPO, the former Siemens subsidiary loses its independence. At the beginning of October, ams had failed a first takeover attempt due to opposition from Osram shareholders, but then convinced Olaf Berlien’s Managing Board from the benefits of such a move. “Today’s success is also a result of the constructive and positive relationship we have established,” said ams CEO Alexander Everke, a former Siemens and Infineon manager.
According to its own statements, ams is above all interested in Osram’s promising sensor and lighting technology. This includes, for example, LED chips for the automotive and electronics industries. With such a second business pillar, ams would be less dependent on its major customer Apple. The merger could “set in motion a world-class photonics and sensor technology champion,” said Berlien in a press release.
Osram is currently in a deep crisis: Above all, business with the automotive industry fell short of the high expectations, and sales slumped by 13 % to €3.5 billion in the past fiscal year. Under the bottom line was a loss of almost half a billion euros. Berlien had wrung concessions from the ams, which was only half as large but flourishing in view of the smartphone boom. The merger is not expected to result in any redundancies until the end of 2022.
The Osram management sees numerous opportunities in bundling the joint strengths, particularly with a view to further developing the opto semiconductors business unit. A merger with ams will enable the LED division to benefit from the development of innovative sensor and photonics solutions and the use of established customer access, among other things.
The merger is still subject to antitrust and foreign trade restrictions. Compliance with these regulatory steps and legal approvals as well as organizational coordination are expected to take until summer 2020. In the second half of 2020, the necessary steps for a merger of the two groups could then be taken.