US authorities approve ABB purchase of Baldor

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US competition authorities on Thursday approved Swedish-Swiss engineering giant ABB's purchase of US group Baldor Electric Company, the group said here.

ABB said in a statement that following the clearance by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice it expected to "close the acquisition of Baldor" soon after the tender offer closed on January 25.

Last November it said it had agreed to buy Baldor for 4.2 billion dollars (3.2 billion euros).

The management of both groups had approved the transaction, and ABB said at the time it would launch a tender offer to buy Baldor's outstanding shares for 63.50 per share, a premium of 41 percent over the US group's stock price on November 29, 2010.

Arkansas-based Baldor employs about 7,000 people and reported an operating profit of 184 million dollars in the first nine months of 2010.

ABB plans to integrate Baldor into its motors and generators business, a move which it has said would bring about savings of 200 million dollars annually by 2015.

© 2011 AFP

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