ABB to sell Baldor’s generator business

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 289 views 

Zurich, Switzerland-based ABB, the parent company of Baldor Electric Co., has announced it will sell its North American generator business – once a rising star within the Baldor portfolio of products.

Waukesha, Wisc.-based Generac (NYSE: GNRC) will buy “substantially all” of the assets of the Baldor line of generators now produced in Oshkosh, Wisc. Generac has more than 3,000 employees and posted 2012 revenue of $1.176 billion.

“This sale will allow Baldor to focus on industrial electric motors and mechanical power transmission products in line with ABB’s core portfolio, while enabling the generator-set business to become part of a company solely focused on the manufacturing, distribution and sales of these types of products,” Baldor CEO Ronald Tucker said in the ABB statement.

According to ABB, generator sales were 3% of Baldor sales. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. Financial terms were not disclosed, and it is unclear if the sale will change impact Baldor employment in Fort Smith.

“Acquiring Baldor Generators is a great strategic fit for Generac’s business, providing us immediate access to a larger industrial product line to better support the North American and global power generation markets,” said Aaron Jagdfeld, president and CEO of Generac.

Prior to being acquired by ABB in a $4.2 billion deal, Fort Smith-based Baldor employed between 7,000 and 7,500 in 26 plants in five countries and sales offices serving more than 80 countries. About 2,000 were then employed in the Fort Smith area.

ABB and its subsidiaries employ about 145,000 people.

Baldor entered the generator business in 2000 when it bought Oshkosk, Wisc.-based Pow’R Gard Generators. The generator line expanded in 2003 when Baldor acquired Mukwonago, Wisc.-based Energy Dynamics.

Baldor officials at one time considered the generator business and important part of the company’s revenue mix.

“In 2005, our generator business exceeded $50 million for the first time. We like the generator business, and it’s an important part of our growth strategy. We expect generator sales to double every three to four years,” noted language in Baldor’s 2005 annual report.