ABB Sells Steel Structures Business
ABB, Ltd. (NYSE: ABB – $22.95) said it plans to sell a steel products business for $600 million in cash, part of the company’s efforts to streamline its operations. ABB said it was selling Meyer Steel Structures, which makes steel poles and other products used for power transmission, to Trinity Industries. Zurich-based ABB acquired Meyer when it purchased Thomas & Betts Corp. in 2012. ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said the sale – ABB’s largest since it began reviewing its portfolio last year – was needed because Meyer’s products had little in common with the rest of the company’s business, which ranges from power grids to industrial robots. The sale, expected to close in the third quarter, is part of an ongoing strategy for continuous portfolio optimization, according to Spiesshofer. ABB, the world’s largest maker of electricity grids, has been selling off fringe assets, to include ventilation, generator and renewable energy units, to concentrate on its core competencies. While ABB has been one of the few under-performers in the conservative portfolio, the shares can continue to be held for their generous 3.4% annual dividend and long-term appreciation potential.