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ABB to sell Thomas & Betts HVAC business for $260m

24 March, 2014

ABB is selling its Thomas & Betts’ HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) business to US-based Nortek for $260m in cash. ABB says it is divesting the business – which it acquired when it bought Thomas & Betts for $3.9bn in 2012 – because of limited synergies with its core portfolio. ABB will continue to supply motors, drives and LV products to the HVAC industry.

“The divestment is in line with our strategy to continuously optimise our portfolio and to focus our efforts on driving profitable growth in our core automation and power businesses,” says ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer. “Overall, Thomas & Betts continues to provide great synergies with significant growth opportunities and our integration process is fully on track.”

ABB says that the Thomas & Betts acquisition has doubled its addressable market in North America to around $24bn, due largely to T&B’s network of more than 6,000 distributor and wholesaler locations. In Europe and Asia, ABB’s distribution capabilities and coverage are delivering improved market access for T&B products.

ABB adds that combining its own LV protection, control and measurement products with T&B’s components has created a broader LV offering with significant market access.

Nortek’s existing portfolio includes products such as air management systems, heating and cooling products, cooker hoods and bathroom fans, as well as audio, video and security systems.

Nortek's $260m acquisition from ABB will take it into commercial HVAC systems

“HVAC has delivered strong performance and its employees and customers will benefit from the focus and investment of Nortek, a specialist in this area,” says Thomas & Betts CEO Chuck Treadway. “Acquiring this business will enable Nortek to extend its residential heating and cooling business into the adjacent segments of the commercial HVAC market.”

Recent reports have suggested that ABB wants to divest several non-core businesses in deals that could raise more than $1bn.

The Thomas & Betts HVAC sale is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory clearance.

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