Atlas Copco (IW 1000/325), the world’s largest maker of industrial compressors, plans to split into two listed companies in a move that will see the departure of its longstanding Chief Executive Officer Ronnie Leten and could spark takeover interest.
A newly created company with sales of about 28 billion kronor (US$3.1 billion) will focus on mining and construction tools, and will be spun off to shareholders in a tax-free distribution, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement Monday. Under the plan to be put to shareholders next year, Atlas Copco will retain the compressor and vacuum businesses that have revenue of 74 billion kronor in the year through last Sept. 30.
“The new company is a business that a large player like Caterpillar or Komatsu might be interested in buying,” Swedbank analyst Anders Roslund said by phone. “I don’t think that’s imminent, but it’s an interesting and well-run business.” > > > Continue to full article