Telecoms and computing giant Siemens has spun off its UK networking arm, Siemens Network Systems Limited (SNSL), into a European network software and services business.
The new company, called Omnetica, merges SNSL with other Siemens subsidiaries Arche Communications in France and PRES in Italy. Aggregate sales of the merged company stand at around euro400m with customers in 78 countries.
Peter Halls, SNSL's managing director, and now Omnetica's group chief executive, said: "The move frees us up to be more proactive. The three companies didn't fit."
He explained that the company had never been a user of Siemens equipment, except in Germany, but said that networking suppliers are delighted with the change.
The three companies were separately acquired by Siemens in the mid-1990s. Halls said that they had since grown to 10 times their original size and had always been profitable.
"Networking is developing so quickly and what is included is more than enough to cope with," he said. "We don't have generalists and we don't, for instance, deal with the desktop. Our clients like that."
The main investment backing for the new company will come from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which has taken an 81 per cent shareholding. Siemens AG will hold the remaining 19 per cent.
Halls said that the official launch of the new company is next Monday, with the Siemens signs on the buildings coming down this weekend.
The Omnetica board will consist of the three companies' chief executives, chief financial officer Stuart Radcliffe, and some Kohlberg executives.
Customers include Ford, British Airways, Kraft, BMW, Michelin, Glaxo Wellcome, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Ferrero, William Hill and Peugeot.
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