ABB's second-biggest shareholder, Swedish investment company Cevian, has hired Boston Consulting Group to study a potential break-up of the Swiss engineering group, turning up the pressure for a revamp of the company, reports Manager Magazin.
Break-up of the group's energy and automation businesses has been a topic for months as Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer has come under pressure from Cevian, which raised its stake in the group to above 5% and said the company must speed up efforts to simplify its structure, the German magazine reports.
Sweden's Investor AB is ABB's largest shareholder, having increased its stake to more than 10% last year.
ABB officials have opposed a major split-up of the company, but have left the door open for some divestments.
Cevian has already brought financial investors such as CVC Capital Partners as a potential buyer for parts of ABB's energy business, and China's largest power grid operator, State Grid Corporation of China State has shown interest in the ABB Power System Technology, according to Manager Magazin.