Philips’ management got a major vote of confidence from the Italian Agnelli family, which owns stakes in car manufacturers Stellantis (14 brands including Fiat, Chrysler and Maserati) and Ferrari, among many other investments. Exor, the Agnelli’s investment vehicle, acquired a 15 percent stake in Philips for roughly 2.6 billion euros. Exor is “fully supportive of Philips’ leadership, strategy and value creation potential,” the holding company writes in a statement.
Philips has been in rough waters since millions of sleep apnea devices had to be recalled due to the risk of patients inhaling hazardous chemicals. The company’s shares have plummeted almost 70 percent as a result, although they’ve started to recover as the recall operation got underway. The associated cost is estimated to top 1.5 billion euros.
Additionally, to boost long-term profitability, Philips has set a major restructuring operation in motion that will see over 10,000 people worldwide leaving the company. R&D activities are slimmed down and decentralized.
The Agnellis believe Philips is on the right track now. “The path of change taken by Philips in recent years has created a company that combines two areas – healthcare and technology – to which we are committed. Our discussions have confirmed the strong and positive alignment between our long-term, supportive approach to our companies and Philips’ ambitious plans,” commented Exor CEO John Elkann.
The investment entitles Exor to nominate one member of Philips’ supervisory board.