Canadian Manufacturing

ABB to acquire Thomas & Betts for $3.9 billion

Swiss industrial giant hopes to boost its North American presence.

GENEVA—Swiss engineering group ABB Ltd. has agreed to purchase Thomas & Betts Corp. in a deal worth $3.9 billion.

ABB, a maker of industrial products, says the deal is part of a strategy to boost its North American presence. It has about 130,000 employees at operations in 100 nations.

Its U.S. operations in Cary, N.C. has 18,000 workers and revenues of $5 billion in the first three quarters of 2011.

Thomas & Betts employs about 9,400 people and is expected to report 2011 revenues of about $2.3 billion.

ABB said it expects to save costs and gain revenues of about $200 million a year by 2016.

The deal should close sometime in the second quarter 2012 and is subject to regulatory approvals.

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