BERLIN, October 18 (Reuters) – Siemens   (SIEGn.DE) is   preparing to split its Large Drive Applications (LDA) division  ,  the German mechanical engineering and technology company announced on Monday and confirmed media reports.

The separation of the division, which produces heavy-duty electrical drive systems for ships, mines and rolling mills, is the first step towards a sale, the Handelsblatt reported on Monday.

More than 7,000 Siemens employees worldwide, including around 2,200 in Germany, were affected by the move, the Handelsblatt reported, citing company circles.

The unit is part of what is known as Siemens’ portfolio business – activities that the company either intends to improve or sell in the future.

“LDA is one of the leading players in the market and is well positioned overall and has developed very well in recent months,” said a Siemens spokesman.

“We have now decided to outsource the LDA activities into separate legal entities. We want to give this business additional autonomy and entrepreneurial freedom so that it can focus more on its markets and customers. “

The company declined to provide financial details about the deal. The spokesman was also unwilling to comment on any further options for the business and whether the spin-off was a prelude to finding a partner for LDA or selling the business entirely.

The change would be the latest part of the realignment of Siemens under CEO Roland Busch, who has focused on digital and software-based acquisitions since he took office at the Munich-based company in February.

Siemens has focused in recent years on factory automation, transportation and building and with the IPO of Siemens Healthineers  (SHLG.DE)   and Siemens Energy   (ENR1n.DE)  sectors such as medical devices and power generation   leave  .

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