Emerson eyes incremental growth after scrapping Rockwell bid

Emerson Electric Co. CEO David Farr says he will rebuild the Ferguson-based company in smaller steps after giving up on a $29 billion bid to buy Rockwell Automation Inc.

Focusing on more modest targets is Plan B for Farr, who had hoped to achieve his goal of dominating the factory-efficiency market with one big, bold acquisition. Rockwell Automation, which has dramatically outperformed Emerson this year in the stock market, rejected his offer even after he sweetened it twice.

He vowed to forge ahead with internal investments, partnerships and acquisitions to broaden the company’s expertise in automation. Emerson mostly serves the process side of the business, providing software and equipment for products made by combining ingredients, such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, beverages and oil derivatives. Rockwell is the leading supplier of controls for assembly lines.

Rockwell, based in Milwaukee, has maintained that it’s better off alone with its successful Logix product that gives customers a single software platform to build on. In his rejection of Emerson’s third offer, Rockwell CEO Blake Moret last week said that a combination would result in a “weakened position and dis-synergies.”

Read more: Bloomberg


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