Osram shares begin to trade

Osram is officially independent. Shares in the new Osram Licht AG went on sale this morning, after the company separated from former owner Siemens.

Shares were trading at €23.66 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange at 12pm local time, down from an opening price of €24. The price values the whole company at around €3 billion.

Osram had warned of a likely decline in price when shares began to trade, because not all Siemens shareholders would want to hold stock in the new company, including mutual funds whose guidelines limit them to stocks in Germany’s Dax index.

Siemens had initially planned to float Osram by offering shares for sale publicly, but volatile market conditions scuppered that plan, and instead Siemens shareholders were all given a proportionate stake in the new Osram business. Siemens itself has held on to 17 per cent of Osram, with a further 2.5 per cent belonging to a pension trust.

Osram said LED products now account for more than a quarter of its overall revenue, which amounted to €5.4 billion in the last fiscal year. The company is part way through a cost-cutting drive which will see it cut thousands of jobs and reduce the number of factories it owns.

CEO Wolfgang Dehen said: ‘Today’s listing marks the beginning of a new chapter in the company’s more than 100-year history and presents great opportunities for the company’s future development.’