OSRAM CEO expands general LED lighting market strategy and is attacked by Siemens

According to foreign media Reuters, on February 16, the chief executive of OSRn.DE, the chief executive of the German lighting group, was attacked by Siemens AG (SIEGEn.DE), the company's largest shareholder.

Earlier, some shareholders of OSRAM were disappointed with their strategy of investing 1 billion euros in November 2015 to establish a new LED semiconductor factory in Malaysia, causing its share price to plummet 30%.

Analysts also believe that the move is an adventure, fearing that OSRAM will place itself in the highly competitive market for street lighting and home lighting.

CEO Olaf Berlien defended the move by telling shareholders at the company's annual meeting in Munich that rapid technological change means that no investment is zero risk. Berlien has been with the company for a year, and is the former manager of ThyssenKrupp (TKAG.DE). At the age of 53, he said, "It is the worst choice to keep the status quo without making changes." However, Siemens, the former parent company that still holds an 18% stake in OSRAM, expressed dissatisfaction with this move.

Siemens company representative Christian Bleiweiss said, "As long as the strategy changes, OSRAM's risk forecast will increase significantly," he added, "they will not formally support Berlien at the meeting."

This hurts Berlien's reputation. But Siemens did not convince the 70.1% of other investors who agreed to Berlien to follow their leadership at the meeting.

Many investors are worried that the semiconductor industry will encounter problems faced by German chipmaker Qimonda. Qimonda filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and Infineon (IFXGn.DE) is heavily in debt.

Tim Albrecht, portfolio manager at Deutsche Asset Management, said he had opened positions when OSRAM's share price was weak. Although he has doubts about it, he now holds 180 million euros worth of OSRAM shares.

“So far, I have been a fund manager for 15 years and I often go through such things. Unfortunately, some companies are like Icarus because the ambitious semiconductor or solar business investment plans fly very high, but Finally collapsed." He also said at the shareholders meeting, "I hope that OSRAM can get rid of this fate."

Investors had hoped that the only remaining global company focused on lighting, OSRAM, could focus on the automotive and specialty lighting markets after deciding to break away from its declining lighting business.

In addition, Philips in the Netherlands has also listed its lighting division, trying to focus on core businesses such as medical scanners and medical technology.

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