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Acquisitions

Siemens buys out British Invensys Rail technology firm

German engineering giant Siemens has announced a multi-billion euro purchase of a British railway technology firm, while simultaneously seeking to sell a packaging and sorting business used at airports and post offices.

Siemens and British company Invensys on Wednesday confirmed that the German company was purchasing Invensys' railway techology division for roughly 2.2 billion euros ($2.83 billion). Siemens said in a statement that its advisory board had approved the takeover.

The British company, with 3,200 employees and a turnover of around one billion euros, specializes in signaling and other communication technologies used to direct rail traffic. The takeover still required approval from Invensys shareholders and the relevant authorities.

Siemens also announced on Wednesday that it was seeking a buyer for a division of the company responsible for packaging, and sorting letters or larger packages for delivery - a sector of the company that is primarily active in airports and postal offices. Siemens employs roughly 3,600 people in this sector.

The Siemens division, with a turnover of around 900 million euros, was described by Siemens as a niche market that offered few areas of convergence with the engineering giants' other activities.

"We are pulling out of a non-core business with limited potential for synergy and simultaneously strengthening a robust and profitable business, by bringing together two organizations with similar corporate cultures and attractive scope for synergy," the chairman of Siemens Infrastructure and Cities, Roland Busch, said.

Earlier this month, Siemens announced plans to reorganize its sprawling empire by 2014, aiming to place greater emphasis on what it considers to be its core areas of activity. The company is also cutting back in areas like medical technology, factories building electrical transformers and the construction of windmills.

Siemens is one of Germany's largest conglomerates, company figures put turnover for the 2011 financial year at 73.5 billion euros.

msh/hc (AP, dpa, dapd)