Westinghouse Considers Separating Industrial, Broadcasting Businesses
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Westinghouse Electric Corp. said today it is considering the separation of its electric generator and other industrial businesses from CBS Inc. and its other broadcast operations.
The company said it would consider such a split during the rest of the year. Analysts expect that any money raised from selling the company’s power generation or refrigerated transportation units would be used to buy more media properties.
Such a split would complete a transformation taking Westinghouse from an old-line industrial behemoth to a media company that some think will see faster profit growth.
In a statement today, chairman and chief executive officer Michael H. Jordan said he recommended at the company’s May board meeting that directors consider separating the broadcast and industrial businesses.
The company said that between now and the final three months of the year it will examine finance, tax, personnel and legal issues surrounding a split.
``In so doing, we will help to ensure the long-term competitiveness and growth of both businesses, which will benefit shareholders, customers and employees,″ Jordan said.
In December, Westinghouse announced it was selling Knoll Group, a furniture manufacturer, to New York-based E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. for $565 million. In January, it agreed to sell its defense-related electronics business to Northrop Grumman Corp. for $3 billion in cash.
Analysts say the most attractive part of the industrial business would be the Thermo King Corp. refrigerated transport unit, which dominates the business. Last year, its profits rose 30 percent.
The power generation units have been struggling through a market glutted with equipment for making electricity. The business lost more than $200 million in 1995.