ABB, Zurich, Switzerland, announced that it would acquire Thomas & Betts Corp., Memphis, Tenn., in a deal worth $3.9 billion. An ABB press release said both companies' boards of directors have agreed to a transaction in which ABB will acquire Thomas & Betts for $72 per share in cash or approximately $3.9 billion.

The release said the complementary combination of Thomas & Betts' electrical components and ABB's low-voltage protection, control and measurement products would create a broader low-voltage portfolio that can be distributed through Thomas & Betts' network of more than 6,000 distributor locations in North America, and through ABB's established distribution channels in Europe and Asia. The combined product portfolio and enhanced distribution network will enable ABB to double its addressable market in North America to approximately $24 billion.

“Thomas & Betts is a well-run company with strong brands and excellent distribution channels in the world's largest low-voltage products market,” said Joe Hogan, ABB's CEO, in the press release. “Because our products are complementary, we'll go to market with one of the broadest offerings in the industry. That creates strong growth opportunities for both ABB and Thomas & Betts, and gives customers and distributors one-stop access to one of the widest ranges of low voltage products.

“Strategically, it's a great fit. This is another big step toward our goal of expanding our presence in the key North American market. The transaction clearly supports our 2015 growth and profitability targets, and meets all of our return-on-investment criteria for creating shareholder value.”

“This transaction delivers significant value to our shareholders and will enable Thomas & Betts to accelerate our global growth strategy,” said Thomas & Betts Chairman and CEO Dominic Pileggi. “The combination will also enable us to provide our North American customers and distributor network with a broader portfolio of products and will provide long-term opportunities to our employees.”

Electrical Wholesaling will have more in-depth coverage of this blockbuster deal in next month's issue.