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Siemens Expanding U.S. Natural Gas, Oil Footprint With Dresser Takeover

Germany's Siemens AG is laying down $7.6 billion in cash to take over U.S. oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group Inc., giving it a bigger domestic market share, and as important, more access to Houston natural gas and oil decision-makers, the company’s CEO said Monday.

The cash transaction is the biggest ever for the global industrial giant. The deal would combine Siemens' natural gas turbine business with Dresser's global rotating equipment business and natural gas offerings to create a specialized oil and gas arm headquartered in Houston.

"The business generated by decision-making in Houston is a multiple of what you already see happening in the United States," CEO Joe Kaeser said during a conference call.

Siemens' domestic oil and gas portfolio largely would be "complete" once the Dresser buyout is done, expected next summer, he said. The deal not only gives the company $321 million in new U.S. equipment, but it puts Siemens on the map in the U.S. onshore and offshore.

"It is more about getting access to decision-making than anything else, because through our global distribution network, we can follow any oil and gas company anywhere in the world and help them to develop their business."

Dresser, which would keep its brand name, recorded about $3 billion in revenue in 2013. It sells and services turbines and compressor units used in natural gas, oil, power generation and other sectors. The main office in Houston has 800 employees. In Houston, Siemens has about 1,500 employees. No layoffs are expected.

The Houston division is to be run by Lisa Davis, who joined Siemens in August as CEO of the North American energy sector.

"Our aim is to become the leading rotating equipment and process system integrator for the oil and gas industry," Davis said. "Dresser-Rand has strong presence in oil and gas, a reputation for technology leadership and innovation, and a talented and experienced leadership team."

Siemens' global oil and gas division is weighted to natural gas, with offerings for production and processing equipment for the onshore. It also offers compression and pumping solutions, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) equipment, among other things. However, its U.S. division is its weakest.

By acquiring Dresser, it would gain a large market share in unconventional resource equipment, in the offshore and in LNG systems.

Among other things, Dresser manufactures the trademark LNGo system, a small-scale, portable liquefaction plant capable of producing 6,000 gallons of LNG per day. It also manufactures floating production, storage and offloading, or FPSO, vessels for stranded natural gas reservoirs. In addition, it provides systems for carbon dioxide compression.

Most of the synergies between Siemens and Dresser would be in the upstream and midstream businesses, Davis said.

"Our intention is to leverage these strengths by maintaining the existing company and brand name and selectively moving complementary products and services from the existing Siemens portfolio into Dresser-Rand, enabling us to offer a much broader range of products, services and solutions to meet our customers' needs," Davis said.

The U.S. native graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. Davis previously had been on the executive teams for U.S. and UK divisions of Royal Dutch Shell plc.

Having Davis as the face of the division is a key to its success, said Kaeser. Her solid reputation after running similar businesses for Shell in Houston should help ensure a smoother transition for Siemens, he said.

The move by Siemens is its biggest to date to snatch a piece of the booming domestic market, where unconventional drilling techniques have surfaced huge amounts of oil and natural gas from shale and tight rock.

Siemens' long-term plan is to take the learnings in technologies from the U.S. onshore and offshore and transfer them to the global businesses.

The United States accounts for around 45% of Dresser's global market, according to the company. Germany rapidly has been increasing its reliance on renewables and away from fossil fuels. Kaeser earlier this year had indicated Siemens would pounce on a U.S. oil and gas target if one became available.

"Given the vision Siemens has for Dresser-Rand as its oil and gas company, and its expressed wishes to build Dresser-Rand's product and service portfolio with some of the existing Siemens offerings that have previously been marketed separately into the oil and gas space, it is clear that this is a transaction that should create value for clients, as well as for both sets of shareholders, that would not have otherwise been achieved had Dresser-Rand not become part of the Siemens group," said Dresser CEO Vincent Volpe Jr.

"Simply stated, we see this as a unique opportunity to better serve our clients, employees and shareholders and are pleased to have Dresser-Rand placed in the central role for Siemens as it develops its position in oil and gas."

Under terms of the transaction, Siemens agreed to pay $83.00/share for all of Dresser's outstanding shares and debt, representing a premium of 37.4% above the closing price on July 16, the day before speculation in the press began regarding interest in company.

"As the premium brand in the global energy infrastructure markets, Dresser-Rand is a perfect fit for the Siemens portfolio," Kaeser said. "The combined activities will create a world-class provider for the growing oil and gas markets. With this Dresser-Rand will become 'the oil and gas' company within Siemens and fits right into our Siemens Vision 2020."

Siemens launched Vision 2020 in May to make up ground on competitors, which include Switzerland's ABB and U.S.-based General Electric.

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