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November 29, 2017

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Emerson abandons bid for Rockwell

AUTOMATION-SYSTEMS maker Emerson Electric Co yesterday abandoned its bid for Rockwell Automation Inc after its smaller rival snubbed several of its buyout offers.

Instead, Emerson said it plans to speed up the rate of share repurchases over the next month and buy back up to US$1 billion over the next 12 months.

Emerson, looking to be an industrial automation giant, first made an offer of US$200 per share for Rockwell in August. It then raised its offer twice — to US$215 per share and US$225 per share, but was rejected.

“We are disappointed that the Rockwell board refused even to discuss the potential combination of our two great companies,” Emerson Chief Executive David Farr said in a statement yesterday.

Rockwell’s shares have risen 2.2 percent since news of the deal first became public on October 31. Emerson’s shares have fallen 8.1 percent in the same time.

Emerson’s strength is in process automation, helping power plants and factories in sectors such as mining and cement operate more efficiently. Rockwell, on the other hand, is a leader in so-called discrete automation, helping assemble component parts to make cars, household appliances and computer systems.

Rockwell has argued Emerson’s offers undervalued the company and that the combined company’s industrial customers would be worse off because its products would no longer be available on a single platform.


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