February 28, 2013 / 5:40 PM / in 5 years

Relational repeats call for Timken to consider breakup

BOSTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Activist investment firm Relational Investors LLC on Thursday repeated its call for U.S. industrial conglomerate maker Timken Co to consider breaking itself into two companies focused on steel and bearings.

“There is currently a deep under-valuation of Timken’s shares due to the Company’s ill-conceived conglomerate structure, particularly as compared to its peers,” Relational said in a joint statement with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System.

Together, Relational and CalSTRS own 7.3 percent of Timken.

Relational, run by Ralph Whitworth, has been calling on Timken to consider a split since November, a call that Timken management has resisted.

Timken shares were down 14 cents at $54.49 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

A Timken spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, Relational unveiled an 8.8 percent stake in diversified U.S. manufacturer SPX Corp and urged that company to consider “strategic alternatives” and to pull back from pursuing major acquisitions unless they provide a better return to shareholders.

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