British engineering group Invensys Plc (LON:ISYS) confirmed on Thursday it had been in very early talks with third parties interested in buying it, including US Emerson Electric Co (NYSE:EMR), but the negotiations had terminated with no deal being reached.
The statement was issued in response to recent press reports that the company was considering selling itself, Invensys said.
The British firm said it was holding no other talks over a takeover offer with any party.
Bloomberg reported earlier citing sources that after Emerson approached Invensys with a proposal to buy some of its operations, or the entire group, the British firm started looking into options, including a sale.
According to one of the informed people, Emerson was ready to explore the possibility of buying the entire Invensys only to get its hands on the group’s meters and control systems unit Foxboro. The US company was not interested in Invensys’s rail business, that person said.
Investec Bank Plc’s analyst Paul Hopper said in a note cited by Bloomberg that a bidding competition for Invensys could result in offers of around GBP3.50 (USD5.50/EUR4.33) a share, with the price likely to go higher if the firm is sold in parts.
Based on current share price, the British firm, making rail signaling and industrial automation systems, is worth GBP2.1bn.
200-year old Invensys has not launched a formal sale process but it could take such a decision later, one of the sources told Bloomberg, adding that Emerson did not make a concrete offer.