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ABB CEO wants to accelerate acquisitions drive -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – The logo for ABB, the Swiss Power Technology and Automation Group is displayed at Interlaken’s Swiss Economic Forum (SEF), May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters). – ABB plans to accelerate its acquisitions drive. Chief Executive Bjorn Rosegren spoke out in an interview with Reuters. The Swiss engineering company is trying to expand faster through mega-trends such as shrinking workforces, decarbonisation, and other mega-trends. At Tuesday’s capital markets event, ABB (maker of factory robots as well as charging stations for electric vehicles) revealed new sales figures and profits. “We are absolutely going to accelerate M&A,” Rosengren said. “But otherwise, I would be extremely disappointed. The target is more small- to medium-sized transactions, possibly around one billion. Five to 10 acquisitions are possible each year. ABB made just two deals this past year. The former Sandvik CEO said ABB wanted to increase its offerings in electrification and robotics.

ABB made $2.9B from its Dodge transmission business. The company is looking to sell its turbo charging business, as well as its power conversion unit. It is also pushing ahead with plans to flot its e-mobility, electric vehicle charging company. The company hopes to list it in Switzerland by the end of 2022. It had revenues of nearly $63 million for the year ending September. ABB competes against France’s Schneider Electric and Germany’s Siemens (PA:) in the market for electrical equipment. ABB would retain a majority of its shares after the initial public offerings. It is an integral part of ABB. Rosengren explained that the company needs to be managed differently from the rest. He added that ABB offered to be the chairman of the new business.

Cevian, activist shareholder, submitted a report that called for ABB to be further streamlined. He declined.

Rosengren stated, “I don’t believe in conglomerates. ABB isn’t a conglomerate.” The board has the same view on ABB’s current strategy. ABB is optimistic about the market for next year. This was especially true in robotics and automation, where customers face high wages and difficulty finding workers. Although supply chain issues would remain in place during the fourth quarter, and into next year’s first half of the year, ABB expects that the difficulty to obtain parts like the semiconductor chips will ease.

We have a very strong market demand. The demand is expected to continue growing in 2022, according to Rosengren. Rosengren explained that we don’t yet have cancellations.

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