Emerson Considers Selling $1 Billion Appleton Group Division

Emerson Electric Co., one of North America’s largest industrial conglomerates, is considering a sale of electrical products unit Appleton Group, according to people familiar with the matter.

The St. Louis-based company has held preliminary talks with advisers about a potential $1 billion auction of the business in 2021, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The unit is likely to attract interest from peers and private equity firms, although no final decision has been made and Emerson could elect to keep Appleton, the people said.

A representative for Emerson declined to comment.

Emerson’s involvement with the business, which makes light fittings and other electrical equipment for use in extreme environments, began with a joint venture with SPX Corp. in 1997, then called EGS Electrical Group.

Emerson bought SPX’s minority interest in the business in 2014 and renamed it Appleton Group, sitting within the industrial automation arm, according to a statement.

Emerson, which can trace its origins to 1890, announced this week that Chief Executive Officer Dave Farr is retiring after more than 20 years in the role. Lal Karsanbhai, head of the company’s automation unit, is taking his place.

The company’s other platform is commercial and residential solutions, which includes refrigerators and thermostats, according to its website.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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