Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 Dec 18, 2018

CEW 24 CS ABB 400

Hitachi has finalized a deal with industrial giant ABB to purchase 80% of their Power Grids division for $6.4bn. The move marks a transition for Hitachi, which will look to expand its energy solutions offerings by combining ABB’s power grids business with their digital technology division.

ABB will retain 19.9% in the deal, which values the business at $11bn.

With the deal ABB will look to restructure to boost their overall performance after losing 25% in share prices over the past year. While for Hitachi, the move will increase their ability to compete with global industry leaders like General Electric and Siemens.

Hitachi acquires 100 manufacturing sites, 200 sales sites and 36,000 employees.

Cevian Capital, a 5% stakeholder in the power grids business, attempted to purchase Power Grids in 2016, at which time ABB sought to turn around the business internally.

ABB said the divestment to Hitachi expands on an existing partnership and will turn Power Grids into a global infrastructure leader “with enhanced access to markets and financing.”

"Hitachi will combine ABB’s strength in the power grids business with our digital technology to build an energy platform that contributes to innovation the energy business,” said Hitachi President and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara, adding, “This creates further innovation for business fields such as life and industry and helps us address society’s issues and improve quality of life.” 

ABB will also return 100% of the net profits, estimated a $7.6-7.8bn to its share holders through share buybacks, or a similar method. The deal is expected to close by the first half of 2020.

ABB reduces annual run-rate costs by $500m as a result of the deal.

“ABB has been driving industrial change for more than a century as a global pioneering technology leader. As a result of our Next Level strategy, all of our businesses are today number 1 or 2 in their respective markets. To support our customers in a world of unprecedented technological change and digitalization, we must focus, simplify and shape our business for leadership. Today’s actions will create a new ABB, a leader focused in digital industries,” said ABB CEO, Ulrich Spiesshofer.

ABB will simplify its organizational structure to facilitate its four leading businesses, focusing responsibilities and increasing efficiencies.

The four business are: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Robotics & Discrete Automation and Motion. Each business will be top global leaders in their respective market. ABB’s established domain know-how, world-class engineering and technology expertise, will position the four businesses well to deliver innovative products and solutions for enhanced customer value. ABB’s addressable market is growing by 3.5-4 percent per annum, adding $140 billion in size to reach $550 billion by 2025.

“Today's announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter in ABB's history. Building on our technology and global talented employee base we will further strengthen our focus in digital industries,” said ABB Chairman, Peter Voser.

Source:

https://new.abb.com/news/detail/12473/abb-shaping-a-leader-focused-in-digital-industries

https://www.hitachi.com/New/cnews/month/2018/12/f_181217.pdf

 

OlsonBy Katrina Olson

A recent CEW article by David Gordon caught my eye. The headline was, Are Your Sales and Marketing Teams Inhibiting Growth?

As a marketing consultant, writer, and trainer, I recognized the challenges and barriers that David was writing about. We agree on many issues (and their causes) facing electrical distributors and marketers. But I also hear from marketing people all the time that the C-Suite is hindering their efforts which, in turn, hinders the company’s growth.  

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2018 Electrical North American MeetingOn October 29-31, 2018, the AD Electrical North American Meeting drew over 1,000 attendees. This event attracted 151 first time attendees and representatives from over 362 companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Attendees benefited from a variety of agenda topics, including: Network Meetings, Emerging Leaders Session, and Country-specific Business Meetings. New to this year’s agenda was a SPA Optimization Workshop led by industry veteran Mo Barsema. In addition, members and suppliers also attended a panel discussion on managing and measuring your digital success.

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Recently we launched an initiative with Electro-Federation Canada's Young Professionals Network to include profiles of up-and-coming leaders. We provided the list of questions below to Taylor Gerrie, Automation Account Specialist at Gerrie Electric Wholesale Ltd. in Burlington, Ontario. Here are Taylor’s responses.

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Susan Uthayakumar, President of Schneider Electric Canada: Driving Success

Susan UthayakumarBy Owen Hurst

First and foremost, sitting down with Susan Uthayakumar feels more like sitting down and conversing with a friend than conducting an interview with the Canadian president of one of the world’s largest electrical manufacturers. Of course, she exudes the confidence and knowledge her position demands, but equally identifiable are an open and engaging nature.

In a recent sit-down, we learned a little about Susan’s history and what drives her to succeed.

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One year our conference was in Hamilton, Ontario. Mr. Caouillette, our speaker, got lost and instead of going to Hamilton went to Toronto. I think that that was the longest cocktail hour that CEDA ever had… waiting for him to arrive. Certainly that night the head table and everyone were in good spirits.

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Looking BackLooking BackIn the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent companies like Horsman, Ashdowns, Brettell, Marshall Wells, Electrical Supplies Ltd., etc.

Small electrical distributors just were not acceptable for membership as they did not carry the main-line manufacturers’ goods, publish a wiring device catalogue, or employ four to five salesmen as CEDA requested.

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