* To sell Thomas & Betts' heating, ventilation and AC unit
* Sale expected to close in second-quarter
* New CEO Spiesshoffer divesting non-core businesses
ZURICH, March 21 Swiss engineering group ABB
said on Friday it has agreed to sell its U.S. Thomas &
Betts' heating, ventilation and air conditioning business to
U.S. conglomerate Nortek for $260 million in cash.
ABB, which is pruning its portfolio under new chief
executive Ulrich Spiesshofer, said it expects the sale to close
in the second quarter of this year, subject to regulatory
Reuters reported last month that ABB was looking to sell
several non-core businesses, including its heating and air
conditioning unit operated under the Reznor brand owned by
Thomas & Betts, in deals that could raise more than $1
A number of industrial companies have been selling off
assets to focus on their core strengths and improve earnings
during a tentative economic recovery.
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.
ABB bought Thomas & Betts, a U.S. maker of electrical
components, in 2012 for $3.9 billion to help expand its
low-voltage products business in North America.
In a statement, the Swiss company said it was divesting the
heating and air conditioning unit because it lacked synergies
with ABB's core portfolio of electrical motors and drives.
Last October, ABB said it would sell the assets of Baldor's
generator-set business to Generac Holdings for an
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Noah Barkin and