ABB completes acquisition of B&R

  • Acquisition creates a uniquely comprehensive automation portfolio for customers globally
  • Clear commitment to B&R’s growth strategy, mid-term sales ambition of >$1 billion
  • B&R becomes new global business unit “Machine & Factory Automation”
  • Commitment to growing B&R’s business is demonstrated by investment in new R&D center
  • Transaction funded in cash, operational EPS accretive in year one

ABB today announced that it has completed its acquisition of B&R (Bernecker + Rainer Industrie-Elektronik GmbH), the largest independent provider focused on product- and software-based, open-architecture solutions for machine and factory automation worldwide. The transaction, which was announced on April 4, 2017, is financed in cash and expected to be operationally EPS accretive in the first year.

“I am very pleased to now officially welcome B&R to ABB. This transaction closes ABB’s historic gap in machine and factory automation and expands our leadership in industrial automation. Following the acquisition of B&R, we are the only industrial automation provider offering customers in process and discrete industries the entire spectrum of technology and software solutions around measurement, control, actuation, robotics, digitalization and electrification,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “This combination will open new global growth opportunities by expanding our offerings to existing clients while also bringing ABB’s broad reach, extensive domain knowledge and deep technical expertise to industries and customers that we have not served before. Our commitment to growing the business of B&R is demonstrated by our investment in a new R&D center, which is to be built next to its headquarters in upper Austria.”

This transaction marks another important milestone in ABB’s Next Level strategy. With the acquisition of B&R, ABB strengthens its position as the second-largest industrial automation player globally. ABB is now uniquely positioned to seize the tremendous growth opportunities created by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. B&R’s industry-leading products, software and services in Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Industrial PCs and servo motion-based machine and factory automation ideally complement ABB’s industrial automation portfolio for utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure providers.

Through the acquisition of B&R, ABB is taking another major step in expanding its digital offering by combining its industry-leading portfolio of digital solutions, ABB Ability™, with B&R’s strong application and software platforms, its large installed base, customer access, and tailored automation solutions.

“There is a strong cultural fit between B&R and ABB, including our shared commitment to customer-centric, open-architecture software and solutions. This will ensure a smooth integration as we combine our strengths and maximize our uniquely comprehensive offering for the benefit of our customers,” said Peter Terwiesch, President of ABB’s Industrial Automation division.

With the closing of the transaction, B&R becomes part of ABB’s Industrial Automation division as a new global business unit called Machine & Factory Automation, integrating ABB’s PLC activities. The unit is headquartered in Eggelsberg, Austria, ABB’s new global center for machine and factory automation, and is headed by Hans Wimmer, former Managing Director of B&R. The co-founders of B&R, Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer, will act as advisors during the integration process. ABB is committed to investing further in the expansion of B&R’s operations, including R&D, and to building on the company’s successful business model. This ambition is also reflected in the mid-term sales target for B&R of more than $1 billion.

“The B&R team is proud to be part of ABB and its leading Industrial Automation division,” said Hans Wimmer, the Managing Director of ABB’s new Machine & Factory Automation business unit. “With our compatible cultures, complementary strengths and leading technologies, ABB and B&R will have an even more compelling value proposition to offer our customers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”