The logos of Emerson Electric and Rockwell Automation. Emerson Electric; Rockwell Automation

Emerson Withdraws $29 Billion Offer to Buy Rockwell Automation

Emerson Electric claims Rockwell Automation opted to not engage in “constructive dialogue”, while Rockwell says its board carefully considered and rejected all offers.

Emerson Electric Co. withdrew its $29 billion proposal to acquire Rockwell Automation Inc., citing the target’s “continued unwillingness to engage in discussions about a potential combination” of the makers of factory equipment.

“Instead of engaging in constructive dialogue, the Rockwell board decided to let this unique and value-generative opportunity go unexplored,” Emerson CEO David Farr said in a statement Tuesday. “We remain focused on accelerating core growth through new market penetration, technology innovation and strategic bolt-on acquisitions.”

Emerson’s decision ended a campaign that became increasingly aggressive earlier this month, when the St. Louis-based maker of manufacturing software and equipment released its third proposal on a day Rockwell was scheduled to address investors. Rockwell rejected the offer last week, saying Emerson’s sweetened bid of $225 a share in cash and stock didn’t outweigh the risks in bringing together the automation companies.

For year, Emerson has sought to bolster its offerings by adding the leading supplier of software and controls for assembly-line operations. Rockwell, based in Milwaukee, has maintained that it is better off alone with its successful Logix product that gives customers a single software platform to build on instead of learning multiple ones.

Earlier this month, Rockwell Automation CEO Blake Moret told IndustryWeek that “we carefully considered it, and the board unanimously rejected the offers that were made. We’re focusing now on continuing to increase value for customers and for shareholders. We’re proud of what we’ve done in the past and we’ll continue in the future.

“We know we attract a lot of attention with our success. We think we have a great strategy and the ability to execute it.”

Rockwell fell 2.4% to $186.51 in premarket trading in New York. Emerson rose 1.2% to $62.62.

By Thomas Black, with assistance from the IndustryWeek staff

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