Rockwell Automation Rejects $27.6 Billion Offer From Emerson


Rockwell Automation Inc., a major supplier of robotics software, rejected a $27.6 billion offer from Emerson Electric Inc., which is trying to rebuild following a restructuring.

Rockwell rose the most in eight years on reports of the offer, then pared the gains after the companies said discussions have ended. While the Emerson deal is off, the news stirred talk among badysts that Rockwell could be a coveted industry takeover target.

The offer may inspire other suitors, including Honeywell International Inc., said Scott Davis, an badyst with Melius Research. Rockwell is desirable for its focus on making software and equipment used to control robotics and other automated systems in factories.

“We’d expect others to jump in,” Davis said. “It’s the best pure-play automation badet in the world right now.”

Emerson’s unsolicited bid of $215 a share, half in cash and half in stock, wasn’t in the best interests of shareholders, Rockwell said in a statement Tuesday. The company, which had a market value of $24 billion as of Monday’s close, said it also reviewed and rebuffed an earlier, lower offer by Emerson.

The board “is confident in the company’s strategic direction and our ability to continue delivering superior levels of growth and value creation,” said Blake Moret, Rockwell’s chief executive officer.

Gadfly: Emerson’s bid puts another Rockwell in play

In a separate statement, Emerson said Rockwell’s rejection had ended talks between the companies.

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