ABB's Acquisition Of Baldor Cleared By Regulators

The Justice Department's antitrust division has given the green light to ABB Ltd.'s $3.1 billion acquisition of Baldor Electric Co., the two companies said Thursday.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Justice Department's antitrust division has given the green light to ABB Ltd.'s $3.1 billion acquisition of Baldor Electric Co., the two companies said Thursday.

Swiss-based ABB announced in November its plans to buy Fort Smith, Ark.-based Baldor. The Justice Department clearance was the last regulatory hurdle facing the deal.

Earlier Thursday, ABB said it was extending for a second time its tender offer to buy all of Baldor's outstanding shares. Investors of the industrial-motor company now have until Tuesday to tender their shares, if they have not already.

The tender offer had been set to expire Wednesday. By then, Baldor investors had offered to sell about 42.1 million shares, or 88.8 percent of outstanding shares.

When the deal was first announced, ABB said it would make the company a market leader for industrial motors, including high-efficiency motors. The U.S. market for high-efficiency motors is expected to grow up to 15 percent this year.

The deal values Baldor at $63.50 per share. The day before ABB announced the deal, Baldor's stock stood at $45.11. The shares closed Thursday at $63.42. ABB's U.S.-traded shares ended down 50 cents, or 2 percent, at $22.81.
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