ABB Buys Thomas & Betts for $3.9 Billion

Deal will give ABB access to Thomas & Betts' network of more than 6,000 distributor locations and wholesalers in North America.

Swiss engineering company ABB announced on Jan. 30 that it had acquired U.S. rival Thomas & Betts for $3.9 billion.

The deal will see ABB gain access to Thomas & Betts' network of more than 6,000 distributor locations and wholesalers in North America, the firm said.

Thomas & Betts', a leader in low voltage products, will be integrated into ABB's Low Voltage Products division as a stand-alone unit working out of Memphis, Tenn.

ABB made the acquisition for $72 per share in cash, representing a 24% premium to Thomas and Betts' closing price on Jan 26.

Chief executive Joe Hogan described the deal as a "great fit."

"Because our products are complimentary we'll go to market with one of the broadest offerings in the industry," he said.

"This is another big step toward our goal of expanding our presence in the key North American market."

Thomas & Betts employs about 9,400 people and was expected to report 2011 revenues of $2.3 billion and earnings before interest of $390 million.

Its main business is the manufacture of low-voltage electrical products for the construction and utilities markets.

The firm said the transaction offered "significant value" to its shareholders.

"The combination will also enable us to provide our North American customers and distributor network with a broader portfolio of products and will provide long-term opportunities for our employees," said CEO Dominic Pileggi.

ABB announced in December it was purchasing Newave Energy, a Swiss leader specializing in uninterruptible power supply, for about 170 million Swiss francs (US$184 million).

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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