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To Infineon and beyond

As the huge conglomerates that have long dominated Germany's economy transform themselves into sleek, focused businesses, a procession of corporate assets has come to the market.

As the huge conglomerates that have long dominated Germany's economy transform themselves into sleek, focused businesses, a procession of corporate assets has come to the market place. Many have been sold to trade buyers, others to private equity Firms. But the preferred route for many big companies is to disentangle themselves by spinning off units as a separate company and listing them through an IPO.


       


That should create a steady stream of business for equity capital markets bankers. But there is a problem. These companies tend to be in the least glamorous industry sectors, and they have been a notoriously difficult sell at a time when equity investors are infatuated with hi-tech start-ups. The IPOs of Veba's logistics business Stinnes and BASF's Film processing subsidiary Agfa-Gavaert in 1999 are just two deals of this sort which met with a lukewarm reception.



The spin-off of Infineon Technologies from Siemens may seem a much more hi-tech proposition.






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