SKF Sweden reviews aerospace business ownership

Dec 8 (Reuters) – Swedish bearing maker SKF (SKFb.ST) said on Thursday it was considering ownership of its aerospace business in a strategic review amid continued consolidation in the industry.

In a statement ahead of its capital markets day, SKF confirmed a review of its aerospace business, which brokerage Berenberg said accounted for about 5% of group sales.

Chief Executive Rickard Gustafson said SKF could not commit to a time frame for the review, but said it could reveal areas of “significant shareholder value”.

Gustafson said he was open to various outcomes.

“It doesn’t mean we’ve focused on one solution,” the chief executive told Reuters, adding that it could mean a full divestment, partial divestment or more acquisitions to strengthen SKF’s position in the industry .

A possible sale was prompted by calls for change by activist investor Cevian Capital, SKF’s second-largest shareholder, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

“As some of you may have read in the recent news, this review was not imposed on us from the outside. It was clearly part of our strategic framework,” Gustafson said at the event.

SKF also confirmed its long-term financial goals and outlook for the October-December quarter.

“We expect organic sales to grow around 10%, and as a result, we expect full-year organic growth to be in the upper half of our previous guidance range of around 4-8%.”

Reporting by Marie Mannes and Terje Solsvik; Editing by Anna Ringstrom, Susan Fenton and Alexander Smith

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Mary Mannes

Thomson Reuters

Reporter based in Gdansk covering Nordic stock markets and general business news.

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