Philips could buy 15 companies worth $34 billion

By Matthew Henry and agencies

HOLLAND: Royal Philips Electronics could buy up to 15 companies in the next two years by deploying 20 billion euro ($A34 billion) the company has set aside for acquisitions, according to a Philips executive quoted in an Italian newspaper.

“We have 15 to 20 billion euro ($A25-34 billion) to spend, and we’ll make perhaps up to 15 acquisitions of businesses in the next two years,” Philips Italy executive, Andrea Rangnetti, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Australian Associated Press (AAP) has reported that analysts say Philips can free up to 20 billion euro as a result of selling stakes in non-core companies such as the LG.Philips LCD manufacturing joint venture, “as well as tapping cash from operations and a leveraged balance sheet”.

Philips Electronics Australia would not confirm the plan.

“There is nothing I can really add to this, other than we are constantly looking for ways to reinforce our position in the healthcare, lifestyle and technology arenas. We will make the appropriate business decisions to support this when the time is right,” said Philips Electronics Australia senior manager – corporate communications and brand management, David Wolf.

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