ZURICH (Reuters) -RBC Bearings on Monday agreed to buy Swiss engineering company ABB’s power transmission unit Dodge for $2.9 billion, as the U.S. bearings maker looks to reduce its exposure to the pandemic-hit aerospace industry.
Shares of RBC surged as much as 19.4% to a record $246.56, while ABB’s gained as much as 1%.
Dodge, which has some overlap with RBC in bearings used in food processing operations and belted drives for conveyors in mines, has an exposure to high growth markets such as warehousing, where online shopping is driving a boom during the health crisis.
RBC gets 58% of its revenue from the aerospace industry, which is struggling due to the coronavirus-led international and domestic travel restrictions.
“The combination will enhance RBC Bearings’ footprint… while increasing our access to Dodge’s attractive end markets,” RBC Bearings Chief Executive Officer Michael Hartnett said.
Upon closing of the deal, expected in the fourth quarter of 2021, RBC’s sales from aerospace will be reduced to 30% of its overall revenue, with the remainder 70% coming from a wide range of existing and new industrial end markets, the company said.
RBC said the deal would immediately add to cash earnings per share by around 40% to 60% in the first full fiscal year after close and would generate annual pre-tax run-rate savings of about $70 million to $100 million by fiscal year 2026.
ABB said it will use the proceeds to fund organic growth, higher dividends and acquisitions.
The deal is the first major divestment under ABB Chief Executive Bjorn Rosengren, who put Dodge up for sale last year as he sought to simplify ABB’s complex structure, which runs from making electric ship motors to factory robots and electric fuses.
Dodge, which employs 1,500 people, generated sales of roughly $600 million in the 12 months ended June 2021, with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 28%.
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