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Investors say Timken should split into 2 companies

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investment fund Relational Investors LLC said Wednesday that it believes steel and bearings maker Timken Co. should split itself into two companies.

Relational said the two businesses are "incongruent" and separating them would maximize value for the Canton, Ohio, company's shareholders. Relational owns 5.7 percent of Timken and was joined in its statement by the California State Teachers' Retirement System, which owns a 0.4-percent stake.

Relational said it proposed the split at a meeting with Timken's management and board of directors in August.

Timken shares rose $4.82, or 11.6 percent, to close at $46.23. The stock has traded between $32.59 and $57.94 over the last 52 weeks. The company said its board concluded that the split would not be in the best interest of shareholders.

"We have significant technology, cost and revenue synergies between our bearing and steel businesses as well as diversification benefits in continuing to operate under our current structure," President and CEO James Griffith said in a statement.

Timken was founded in 1899 and had $5.17 billion in revenue in 2011.