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Rockwell Automation has rejected a second sweetened $29bn unsolicited takeover approach from rival Emerson Electric, saying the new higher offer still undervalues the company.
The controls and automation software maker said in a statement that its board has “unanimously determined” that Emerson’s proposal was not in the best interest of the company or its shareholders.
“Emerson’s proposal undervalues Rockwell Automation and its prospects for continued growth and value creation, presents significant long-term risk for Rockwell Automation’s shareowners, and would create a company that is not well-positioned to compete successfully in the evolving market,” it said. “The Board believes that continuing to execute Rockwell Automation’s successful strategy, which is generating extraordinary returns for the Company’s shareowners, will create greater long-term value than pursuing Emerson’s proposal.”
Emerson last week increased the cash component in its offer for Rockwell, offering $135 per share in cash and $90 in Emerson shares for every one of their Rockwell shares.
This compares to an earlier a $215-per-share offer in October, half in cash, half in shares, and a $200-per-share proposal in August – both of which were rebuffed by Rockwell.
The latest unsolicited offer represents a 30 per cent premium to Rockwell’s volume-weighted average share price over the 90 days before its approach first became public on October 31.
Shares in Rockwell fell 1.2 per cent to $190.68 in pre-market trading while those for Emerson dropped 1 per cent to $59.75.
Emerson is trying to reshape the US industrial equipment industry at a time when it is being disrupted by new technologies including advanced robotics and the combination of connected devices and data analytics often referred to as the “internet of things”.