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ABB seeks to raise stake in Indian subsidiary

business Updated: May 17, 2010 12:58 IST

Reuters
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ABB wants to raise its stake in its Indian subsidiary <ABB.BO> in a deal worth up to $965 million, the Swiss engineering group said, in a move that would strengthen its position in the fast-growing Indian market.

The seller of power equipment to utilities and oil and gas companies said it wanted to raise its stake to 75 percent from 52 percent and offered shareholders 900 rupees ($31.84) per share -- a premium of around 34 percent over Friday's closing price.

Cash-rich ABB tapped its war chest earlier this month to buy US software company Ventyx for over $1 billion, its first billion-dollar deal in more than 10 years and the first major buy under Chief Executive Joe Hogan.

Analysts have been watching the company closely over recent years to see how it will deploy its cash. At the end of the first quarter it had a cash pile of $7.1 billion.

ABB Limited India, had revenue of $1.4 billion and profit before tax of $117 million in 2009 and employs approximately 6,200 people, ABB said.

The open offer will be managed by HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Private Limited. The offer is expected to begin on July 8 and end on July 27, while payment for the shares is expected to take place on Aug. 10, ABB said.

The shares are traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange Limited and the National Stock Exchange of India Limited.