April 18, 2019 / 6:59 AM / 2 months ago

Osram in 'good talks' with Bain, Carlyle after report of bid doubts

BERLIN (Reuters) - German lighting group Osram said on Thursday that talks with Bain Capital and Carlyle Group were continuing, after Manager Magazin said the private equity firms could walk away from a possible takeover.

FILE PHOTO: Logo of lamp manufacturer Osram is pictured during official opening of the company 'World of light' showroom in Munich, Germany, October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

The Munich-based group, which is grappling with weakness in the automotive industry and a broader economic slowdown, said in February that Bain and Carlyle were looking at whether to jointly bid for up to 100 percent of its shares.

“We are currently in good talks with Bain Capital and Carlyle. Nothing has changed there,” the spokesman told Reuters.

Manager Magazine said that Osram’s gloomy earnings prospects meant the private equity groups wanted to pay less for it.

Bain Capital declined to comment on the report, while Carlyle Group could not immediately be reached for comment.

Shares in Osram reversed some losses following Osram’s statement, but were trading down 4.3 percent at 31.5 euros by 0915 GMT.

Chief Executive Olaf Berlien, who took over in 2015, has sought to transform Osram from a light bulb maker into a high-tech group that builds chips, provides digital lighting systems and supplies sensors and other components.

But his plan has failed to win over investors and the company has faced headwinds, particularly in its main automotive market where weakness often ripples through semiconductor and component supply chains early in downturns.

After cutting its profit guidance twice last year, Osram said in March it expects full-year revenue to decline between 11 and 14 percent compared to an earlier forecast for flat to moderate sales growth.

Osram was floated in 2013 by industrial conglomerate Siemens, which sold its last shares in late 2017.

The stock has shed over 60 percent of its value since hitting a high of 79.58 in January 2018 and has a market value of around 2.9 billion euros ($3.26 billion).

Reporting by Caroline Copley and Alexander Huebner; Editing by Tassilo Hummel, Michelle Martin and Alexander Smith

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