Emerson ends courtship of Rockwell

$29 billion acquisition bid withdrawn

Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation's Milwaukee headquarters.

Emerson Electric Co. this morning withdrew its $29 billion bid to acquire Rockwell Automation Inc., citing the Milwaukee automation systems manufacturer’s lack of engagement.

Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation’s Milwaukee headquarters.

Rockwell on Nov. 22 rejected St. Louis-based Emerson’s third acquisition offer since August. The leaders of the companies have been trading public statements about the pros and cons of a merger, but Emerson was never able to engage Rockwell in direct discussions.

“The Rockwell board again rejected our offer, which would have delivered approximately $30 billion of value to Rockwell shareholders,” said David Farr, chairman and chief executive officer of Emerson, in a statement today. “We are disappointed that the Rockwell board refused even to discuss the potential combination of our two great companies. Instead of engaging in constructive dialogue, the Rockwell board decided to let this unique and value-generative opportunity go unexplored.”

Farr said Emerson, which also creates automation solutions, in addition to commercial and residential products, is in a great position and he is confident in its strategy going forward. The company plans to accelerate share buybacks to drive value for shareholders.

“Our future is bright, and we remain focused on accelerating core growth through new market penetration, technology innovation and strategic bolt-on acquisitions,” he said.

Shares of Rockwell Automation Inc. fell about 3 percent in premarket trading but recovered and had gained 2.5 percent by midday.

In response to the withdrawal, Rockwell this morning released the following statement:

“We thank our shareowners for their input and support, our employees for their focus and dedication, and our partners and customers for their continued confidence in Rockwell Automation throughout this process. The Rockwell Automation board and management team are committed to the execution of our strategy, which we are confident will continue delivering extraordinary shareowner returns.”

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

No posts to display