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Bang: ABB Takes Over B&R

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Bang: ABB Takes Over B&R
Bang: ABB Takes Over B&R

Video: Bang: ABB Takes Over B&R

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“The combination of B&R and ABB offers a unique opportunity for our two companies. B&R is a pearl in the world of machine and factory automation,”enthuses Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB, about the largest takeover of his term. This transaction is a real milestone for ABB, as B&R closes the historical gap in ABB's automation offering. "We are a perfect match: In the future we will be the only company that offers its industrial automation customers the entire spectrum of technology and software solutions for measurement and control systems, drives, robotics, digitization and electrification," explains the ABB boss.

B&R, founded in 1979 by Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer and based in Eggelsberg, Austria, is the sole property of the two founders. The company employs more than 3,000 people, including approximately 1,000 research & development and application engineers. B&R is active in 70 countries and has annual sales of more than $ 600 million (2015/16) in the $ 20 billion market segment for machine and factory automation. The combination creates one of the world's most comprehensive offers in industrial automation: The transaction brings together B&R's products, solutions and software for modern machine and factory automation with ABB's leading range in robotics, process automation, digitization and electrification.

Eggelsberg becomes the global center for machine and factory automation

“This combination is a fantastic opportunity for B&R, our customers and employees. We are convinced that ABB offers us the best platform to write the next chapter in our growth story. ABB's impressive global presence, digital offering and complementary portfolio are key factors in further increasing our pace of innovation and growth,”comments Josef Rainer, one of the two co-owners of B&R.

With the takeover, the Austrians want to continue to consistently implement their next-level strategy. "With our then unique digital offering and our installed base with more than 70 million connected devices, 70,000 control systems and now more than three million automated machines and 27,000 factory installations, we enable our customers worldwide to seize the enormous opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution," explains Rainer.

Co-owner of B&R, Erwin Bernecker, also sees the transaction as a positive signal to all employees, “because Eggelsberg will become the global center for machine and factory automation for the entire ABB. "For me, the most important thing is that both companies and their employees fit so well together and that our founding location will continue to play a central role."

Proven approach to integration

After the transaction was completed, B&R became part of the ABB Industrial Automation division as a new global business unit "Machine and Factory Automation" under the leadership of B&R Managing Director Hans Wimmer. For both companies, the management and employees of B&R and ABB are central to future growth and successful integration. The two founders of B&R, Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer, will advise the company in the integration phase and thus ensure continuity.

The focus of the integration is on growth. The aim is to bring together the best of both companies. For this purpose, ABB will bring its existing activities in the areas of PLC and servo drives into the new business unit. ABB will also continue the successful B&R growth story and underlines this commitment with a medium-term sales target of more than $ 1 billion.

Strong signal for Austria as a technology and business location

With this acquisition, ABB becomes the largest company in the field of industrial automation in Austria. ABB has been active in Austria for more than 100 years. The strong commitment to the future role of B&R and its headquarters in Eggelsberg as part of ABB is a strong signal for Austria and especially for Upper Austria. The planned expansion of research and development and production activities in Eggelsberg and Gilgenberg will strengthen Austria as a high-tech industrial location.

Financial details of the transaction

The transaction follows an industry standard valuation. The parties have agreed not to disclose the sales price. ABB will fund the acquisition entirely in cash. The transaction is expected to have a positive impact on operating earnings per share in the first year. The expected synergies are around 8 percent of B&R sales in the fourth year after the transaction is completed. This is subject to the usual regulatory approvals and is expected to take place in summer 2017.

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