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ABB sells maintenance business to Nordic Capital

21 August, 2014

ABB is selling its Full Service contract maintenance business to Nordic Capital for an undisclosed amount. The business is claimed to be the European market-leader in industrial maintenance outsourcing services, with a particularly strong position in the Nordic region. ABB says that the operation has limited synergies with its core power and automation portfolio.

Full Service, currently based in Prague, Czech Republic, maintains and improves production and equipment performance for customers in a wide range of industries and geographies. It employs more than 2,500 people in 30 countries, and has more than 300 performance-based maintenance agreements, representing an annual customer spend of more than $500m.

Nordic Capital plans to move Full Service’s headquarters to Stockholm, Sweden, and has named Sabrina Vilhena as CEO-designate. Vilhena has been with ABB for more than 15 years, most recently as head of finance at Full Service. She will assume the CEO position when the transaction closes and Full Service becomes a stand-alone company.

“There is a clear value in establishing an independent business, fully focused on developing its customer offering and thereby solidifying its position as a global leader in the growing market for industrialised maintenance,” says John Hedberg, advisor to the Nordic Capital Funds.

ABB originally developed Full Service as an adjacent business to its lifecycle service business, and it has since become a successful stand-alone operation. ABB says it will continue to supply lifecycle services for its installed base.

Spiesshofer: five businesses sold in 11 months

“The divestment is fully in line with our strategy to continuously optimise our portfolio,” says ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer. “With the agreed sale of our Full Service activities we now have found a new home for five businesses in 11 months that have no substantial synergies with the rest of our portfolio, raising about $1bn. The Full Service business will be able to develop further under the ownership of Nordic Capital to the benefit of its customers and employees.”

The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approval. The business will continue to operate under the ABB Full Service name for a transitional period, after which the independent entity will adopt a new name and brand.

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