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January News In Brief

14 January, 2007

• ABB may spend "billions of dollars" on acquisitions over the coming 12 months, ending five years of disposals, says chief executive Fred Kindle. In a recent interview, he said that drives, motors and automation are possible areas for acquisitions, particularly in Asia and North America. ABB`s last major acquisition was Elsag Bailey in 1999.

• Regulatory authorities in the US have given clearance for Baldor Electric`s proposed $1.8bn acquisition of Rockwell Automation`s power systems business, which includes its Dodge mechanical and Reliance Electric motors and repairs operations. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

• An explosion at a Rexnord plant in the US has killed three people, injured more than 40 others, and levelled a 4,600m2 site in Milwaukee. The cause of the blast is being investigated, but it may have originated in a propane tank. Rexnord acquired the gear plant when it bought the Falk Corporation in 2005 for $295m.

• The US motor-maker Franklin Electric has sold its Engineered Motor Products Division, based in Bluffton, Indiana, to a private equity firm, CapitalWorks. EMPD produces fractional horsepower motors mainly for OEMs. Franklin says it is "no longer complementary to our future growth plans".

• Siemens Energy & Automation in the US has produced a 45-minute high-definition movie on machine safety which it is taking on a 45-city tour of North American cinemas. Called Safety: Uncover the Competitive Advantage, the educational film includes expert contributions from General Motors, Kuka, TUV and the Profibus User Group. There is a dedicated Web site

• The US packaging giant, Barry-Wehmiller, is buying the assets of the British packaging machinery manufacturer, Sandiacre Rose Foxgrove from Molins, and plans to integrate the business with its Hayssen Packaging Technologies operation, to create a flexible packaging equipment supplier with revenues worth more than $80m.

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