MRO Magazine


ABB to acquire Baldor Electric in $4.2B deal

ABB and Baldor have announced a recommended offer for ABB to acquire Baldor for US$63.50 per share, an overall transaction value of US$4.2 billion. This is in line with ABB’s strategy to establish itself as a leader in the multibillion dollar North American industrial motors business and a global leader for movement and control in industrial applications.
The transaction closes a gap in ABB’s automation portfolio in North America by adding Baldor’s strong NEMA motors product line and positions the company as a market leader for industrial motors, including high-efficiency motors. Baldor also adds a growing and profitable mechanical power transmission business to ABB’s portfolio.
The transaction will substantially improve ABB’s access to the industrial customer base in North America, opening opportunities for ABB’s wider portfolio including energy efficient drives and complementary motors. This move comes at a time when regulatory changes in the US and other parts of the world will accelerate demand for energy efficient industrial motion products. The acquisition will strengthen ABB’s position as a leading supplier of industrial motion solutions, and will also enable ABB to tap the huge potential in North America for rail and wind investments, both of which are expected to grow rapidly in coming years.
“Baldor is a great company with an extremely strong brand in the world’s largest industrial market,” said Joe Hogan, ABB’s CEO. “Baldor’s product range and regional scope are highly complementary to ours and give both companies significant opportunities to deliver greater value to our customers.”
John McFarland, chairman of the board and CEO of Baldor, commented: “Our board of directors believes this transaction is in the best interest of our shareholders, our employees and our customers. It demonstrates the value our employees have created and the strength of our brand and products in the global motors industry. We are excited about the opportunity to join ABB’s worldwide family as we have always respected ABB. We are very pleased that ABB will locate its motor and generator business headquarters for North America in Fort Smith and we are confident that the combined global platform will be well positioned to capitalize on meaningful growth opportunities in the future.” John McFarland will stay with the combined business to support a successful integration.
“ABB is well known in the marketplace for premium, innovative and advanced products. We have respected them as both a market participant and a value-added supplier for many years,” said Ron Tucker, Baldor’s current president and COO, and CEO designate. Ron Tucker will run Baldor including the mechanical power transmission products business and ABB’s motor and generator business in North America after the transaction is completed. 
Baldor employs approximately 7,000 people and reported an operating profit of US$184 million on revenue of US$1.29 billion in first nine months of 2010. This represents an increase of 30 percent in operating profit and 11 percent in revenue over the comparable period in 2009. 
The US market for high-efficiency motors is expected to grow 10 to15 percent in 2011 on the back of new regulations, effective in December this year. Similar regulations in Canada, Mexico and in the European Union are expected in 2011.