UPDATE 2-Hubbell says not threatened by Eaton, ABB deals

Mon May 21, 2012 3:43pm EDT

May 21 (Reuters) - Electrical and electronics maker Hubbell Inc's competitiveness is not threatened by two large takeovers in its sector, the company's chief executive said on Monday.

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp is buying electrical equipment maker Cooper Industries Plc for $11.8 billion, and Swiss engineering group ABB Ltd last week completed the $3.9 billion purchase of U.S. electrical components maker Thomas & Betts Corp.

"It does seem that a couple of these companies are interested in entering more into the component space," Hubbell CEO Timothy Powers said in comments webcast from an Electrical Products Group conference. "As far as Hubbell is concerned, we don't see that changing our competitive balance.

"The markets and market positions we are involved in we don't think are threatened by either one of these deals."

Hubbell, which has made a series of small takeovers in the past six months, expects to make more acquisitions.

"We do have some opportunities that are bigger than bolt-on and we are anxiously pursuing them, too," Powers said.

After the wave of large mergers, Hubbell remains the sole U.S. independent electrical company, Barclays Capital said in a research note.

"Today's announcement will likely get outsized attention at HUBB headquarters," the analysts wrote, adding that "global scale is becoming critical." The growing trend in industrials is share loss by small players and share gain by larger ones, the note said.

Shares of Hubbell rose 6.3 percent to $77.63 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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