Siemens Buys USFilter Division for $993 million

May 25, 2004
German engineering group Siemens announced it will acquire the water systems and services division of USFilter, North America's largest water company, from Veolia Environnement for $993 million, Reuters said in a story reported by CNBC.The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by the end of September. The sale does not include USFilter's Culligan business in the US, USFilter reported."This acquisition is an important step in the framework of strengthening our group portfolio," Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services (I&S) chief Joergen Ole Haslestad said in the article.According to Reuters, the USFilter assets acquired by Siemens have annual sales of $1.2 billion and employ approximately 5,800 people.Veolia, the article reported, said the disposal was "a major step in the strategic refocusing of Veolia Environnement's water activities in North America on long-term contracts for both municipal and industrial clients, as announced last September."According to Reuters, headquarters for the new company, which would become part of Siemens' Industrial Solutions and Services group, would remain in Palm Desert, Calif.In recent years, the water market has become an attractive investment to some of the world's largest companies, including General Electric (NYSE:GE), which began buying water treatment companies two years ago, the article said.The worldwide water market is worth approximately $360 billion annually and is growing at a rate of 6 percent. Services and equipment account forapproximately $40 billion, the article reported.