Johnson Controls seeks options for unit

Johnson Controls International PLC said on Monday that it would explore options for its power solutions business that makes advanced batteries for vehicles and focus on its main business.

The power solutions business, which produces and distributes about 154 million lead-acid batteries for passenger cars and light trucks annually, carries higher margins but has been capital intensive for Johnson Controls, analysts said.

Johnson Controls said it expects to complete its assessment of strategic alternatives for the power solutions business over the next several months.

The power solutions business accounted for 24 percent of the company’s total revenue of $30.17 billion in 2017.

Building technologies and solutions, the Cork, Ireland-based company’s biggest business, had $22.8 billion in sales in the year. The unit makes building heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; building access control systems; and fire detection systems.

Johnson Controls, which moved its headquarters to Ireland after acquiring peer Tyco International PLC in 2016, is benefiting from growth in nonresidential construction in China and North America.

— Reuters

EON to eliminate jobs in Innogy takeover

EON AG will shed as many as 5,000 jobs in the deal to take over Innogy SE, a move that marks the biggest shake-up in Germany’s energy business in years.

The transaction agreed to with its rival RWE AG values Innogy at 22 billion euros ($27.1 billion) and will sharpen the focus of Germany’s leading two electricity and natural gas providers, according to a statement from the companies on Monday. EON billed itself as the first formerly integrated utility to focus entirely on meeting the needs of 50 million customers throughout Europe. RWE said it doesn’t expect any net job losses.

EON’s target is to achieve savings of $740 million to $987 million by 2022. It would become a grid manager and power provider focused on meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ambitious targets to cut pollution. For RWE, which is Europe’s biggest generator of electricity, the deal would return it to renewables as an alternative to its generation network that is focused mainly on coal and nuclear power.

“This strategic exchange of businesses will create two highly focused companies,” said RWE CEO Johannes Teyssen. “Size is crucial” to exploit business opportunities as subsidies for clean energy disappear.

Merkel is seeking to phase out coal-fired power generation in Germany and wants to deliver a plan by the end of this year. RWE owns half of the nation’s coal-fired power capacity.

EON’s voluntary takeover offer for Innogy will probably be completed by the middle of 2019, the companies said.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

The longtime chief executive of Dow Chemical, who led the company through the financial crisis, a merger with rival DuPont and the planned disassembly of the entire enterprise, is stepping down. DowDupont said Monday that Andrew Liveris, 63, will give up his executive chairmanship in April, and his role as director in July, when he officially retires. Jeff Fettig, a longtime independent director, will become executive chairman.

Apple Inc. services chief Eddy Cue suggested the company won't acquire Netflix or Walt Disney and instead will build out its own original video content. When asked about a possible purchase of the media giants during a talk at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Cue noted that Apple hasn't made huge acquisitions in the past and said the company aims to produce a smaller number of quality shows rather than focus on quantity.

— From news services

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: Labor Department releases consumer price index for February.