* ABB may sell-off parts of Thomas & Betts, Power-One
* Deals could raise more than $1 billion - sources
* New CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer wants to prune portfolio
By Greg Roumeliotis, Soyoung Kim and Anjuli Davies
NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 7 Swiss industrial
conglomerate ABB Ltd is seeking to sell several
non-core businesses in deals that could raise more than $1
billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
A number of industrial companies have been selling off
assets to focus on their core strengths during a tentative
New ABB boss Ulrich Spiesshofer is casting a fresh eye over
the group after his predecessor Joe Hogan spent more than $10
billion on acquisitions, and has said he is open to selling
assets that do not fit into its portfolio.
The Zurich-based company is looking to hive off parts of
Thomas & Betts Corp, the U.S. electrical components maker it
acquired two years ago for $3.9 billion, and from Power-One Inc,
the U.S. solar energy company it bought for about $1 billion
last year, the people said.
A spokesman for ABB declined to comment.
Among the four assets up for sale are Thomas & Betts' steel
structures business, as well as its heating and air conditioning
unit operating under the Reznor brand, the sources said, asking
not to be named because the matter is not public.
The steel structures business and Reznor unit accounted for
about 17 percent of Thomas & Betts' 2011 sales and around 1
percent of ABB's overall group revenues, according to analysts.
ABB is also selling the power solutions unit of Power-One
and a separate industrial services business, the people said.
The power solution unit makes up around 27 percent of
Power-One's 2012 sales or 0.7 percent of group revenues,
These four businesses combined have about $150 million in
annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) and could be sold for a high single-digit
multiple of that amount, people familiar with the matter said.
Shares in ABB were trading up 0.4 percent by 1004 GMT, in
line with the European industrial goods and services sector
ABB already agreed to sell the assets of Baldor's
generator-set business to Generac Holdings for an
undisclosed price in October, the month after Spiesshofer
became chief executive.
On the latest potential sales, ABB is working with several
banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit
Suisse Group and Raymond James to help find buyers,
the people familiar with the matter said.
Private equity firms, which are keen to buy non-core assets
being carved out of companies, are interested, they added.
Representatives for Bank of America, Credit Suisse and
Raymond James did not immediately respond to requests for
In January 2012, ABB struck the deal to buy Thomas & Betts,
which supplies the construction, communications and power
industries with connectors for cables, steel masts and heating
and ventilation products.
The engineering conglomerate bought Power-One Inc the
following year, betting that growth in emerging markets would
revive a sector hurt by overcapacity and weakening demand in
Last year, ABB's German rival Siemens sold off
the bulk of its water technology business as well its stake in
mobile telecoms equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks, and spun
off its lighting business Osram.
On Thursday, industrial conglomerate Illinois Tool Works Inc
announced a $3.2 billion deal to sell its packaging
business to private equity firm the Carlyle Group.