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ABB to buy GE unit for 2.6b euros to boost US business

[ZURICH] Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB agreed Monday to buy General Electrics' industrial solutions unit for 2.6 billion euros (S$4.18 billion euros) in a move to boost its business in the United States.

"GE's global electrification solutions business, GE Industrial Solutions has deep customer relationships in more than 100 countries and an established installed base with strong roots in North America, ABB's biggest market," ABB said in a statement.

GE Industrial Solutions is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and has about 13,500 employees around the world.

In 2016, it generated revenues of approximately US$2.7 billion.

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"With GE Industrial Solutions, we strengthen our number two position in electrification globally and expand our access to the attractive North American market," said ABB chief executive, Ulrich Spiesshofer.

"Combined with the long-term strategic supply relationship with GE, this transaction creates significant value for our shareholders." "This combination brings together two global businesses with a broad complement of electrical protection and distribution assets," said GE CEO John Flannery.

The transaction was expected to close in the first half of 2018, subject to customary regulatory clearances, ABB said.

The group said the combination would boost operating earnings in the first year and would open up cost savings of US$200 million per year after five years.

AFP