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ABB to Vend Thomas & Betts' Steel Biz to Trinity Industries

Zacks Equity Research

In an attempt to streamline its portfolio, ABB Ltd. (ABB) has decided to vend Thomas & Betts’ Meyer Steel Structures business to Trinity Industries Inc. (TRN). This all-cash deal is valued at $600 million and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals.

Post the acquisition of Thomas & Betts in 2012, Meyer Steel Structures was integrated into ABB’s business. However, the business did not generate the desired results as it failed to complement ABB’s main as well as other businesses. However, post the divestiture, Thomas & Betts business will remain in ABB’s portfolio, supporting ABB’s growth opportunities in its Low Voltage Products division in North America and internationally.

The divestiture is a win-win situation for both ABB and Trinity Industries. While the divestment will allow ABB to concentrate on its Low voltage product line, the inclusion of the Meyer Steel Structures will complement Trinity’s existing line of business. Based in Dallas, TX, Trinity Industries is a diversified industrial company which provides products and services to the industrial, energy, transportation and construction sectors.

This divestiture by ABB comes on the heels of the sale of Power-One’s Power Solutions business to Bel Fuse Inc – a manufacturer, distributor and marketer of power supply products – for $117 million.

Based in Zurich, Switzerland, ABB is a leading player in the power and automation technology industry. Such technologies help utility and industry customers to improve performance, while reducing negative impacts on the environment.

Some better-ranked stocks that can be considered at present include EnerSys (ENS) and AO Smith Corp. (AOS). While EnerSys sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESE) carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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