Emerson Electric names activist investor-backed Mark Blinn to board

(Reuters) - Emerson Electric Co EMR.N said on Tuesday it named Mark Blinn to its board, bowing to pressure from activist shareholder D.E. Shaw, which has called for a breakup of the U.S. factory automation equipment maker.

The New York-based hedge fund, which owns a more than 1% stake in the Ferguson, Missouri-based company, wants Emerson to split into two businesses - the industrial automation business and the climate technology-focused unit.

The hedge fund has said the move could unlock more than $20 billion worth of shareholder value.

“We welcome these constructive actions from the company and believe they will enhance the board’s composition, its accountability to shareholders and the alignment of management incentives with shareholder returns,” D.E. Shaw said in a statement.

Blinn is a former chief executive officer of industrial pumps and valves supplier Flowserve Corp, Emerson said, adding that his appointment will expand the board to 11 members.

Separately, Emerson reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarterly profit, helped by a tax benefit.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Arun Koyyur