ABB looking for more robotics acquisitions, says CEO

ABB looking for more robotics acquisitions, says CEO  article image

ABB Pty Ltd will look for more acquisitions to expand in robotics and industrial automation, says Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer.

In a recent interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ), Mr Spiesshofer said ABB has “fundamentally a robust cash flow,” which will help the company fund future acquisitions.

“We bought six companies in the last two years in robotics and will acquire more,” Mr Spiesshofer told NZZ.

Last month, the CEO told Bloomberg he had the “financial horsepower” for more deals, reiterating plans to bolster the company’s electrification arm in Latin America, southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

His comments follow Hitachi’s takeover of ABB Ltd’s power grid division for about US$6.4 billion.

Biggest ever-deal

This is reportedly Hitachi’s biggest-ever deal as it shifts focus from nuclear plants to the higher-growth market for electricity networks.

Hitachi agreed to acquire 80.1 percent of a business with an enterprise value including net debt of US$11 billion, it said in a statement last month.

ABB will keep the remaining stake and plans to return as much as US$7.8 billion to investors through a buyback or other measures.

The ABB division makes transformers, long distance electricity-transmission systems and energy storage units. The sale paves the way for the Swiss engineering giant to concentrate more on robotics and automation.

When NZZ asked how much longer he intends to remain CEO of ABB, Spiesshofer replied: “The work is fun. I’d like to continue to be available.”



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