ABB, K-TEK Deal Closes

Thursday, July 8, 2010 @ 11:07 AM gHale


Automation technology supplier ABB completed its acquisition of level detection technology provider, K-TEK.
With over 350,000 installations since its founding in 1975, Prairieville, La.-based K-TEK, which has 250 employees with facilities in the U.S., China, Netherlands, India and South Africa and had $50 million in revenues year, will join the Measurement Products business unit within ABB’s Process Automation division. K-TEK provides level detection instruments, as well as pressure and temperature switches.
“We see a lot of potential for synergy between ABB’s extensive geographic reach and exposure to other industries, and K-TEK’s depth in level detection technology,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division.
While ABB would not disclose the price of the K-TEK deal, it did spend over $1 billion to buy U.S. software maker Ventyx. The company also spent nearly $1 billion to lift its stake in its India unit to 72%.
ABB is still looking at more acquisitions as prices in the industrial sector have fallen.
The company, despite its huge cash pile and limited debt exposure, is looking to deal for small and medium-sized takeovers in Asia and Latin America to broaden its market presence.
ABB just lost out to Emerson Electric Co. in a bid to acquire Chloride Group Plc. Emerson will pay $1.5 billion for the UK’s largest maker of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment.
This hasn’t been an easy road for Emerson as it had made offers before and Chloride turned them down. ABB came in with a sweeter package and Chloride jumped only to have St. Louis, MO-based Emerson come back with a better bid.
After reviewing the latest development, ABB decided to back off.
“While we still see considerable value in the combination of ABB and Chloride and have a high regard for the Chloride management team, we must take a disciplined approach when assessing potential acquisitions,” said Joe Hogan, ABB’s chief executive.



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