General Electric's industrial solutions unit sold to Swiss ABB for $2.6 billion

Last Updated Sep 25, 2017 9:15 AM EDT

GENEVA — ABB, the Swiss robotics and industrial machinery maker, is buying the electrification services unit of U.S. conglomerate General Electric (GE) in a deal valued at $2.6 billion. The deal is set to boost ABB's presence in its crucial North American market.

The deal between ABB, which provides high-tech equipment for the transport, utility and infrastructure industries, and GE is expected to close in the first half of next year.

In a joint statement, the companies say the electrification services unit was not a "core business" for GE. ABB's chief executive, Ulrich Spiesshofer, described the unit as an "unloved child" on a call with journalists.

The Swiss company expects the transaction to add to its bottom line within the first year. ABB says it will retain the right to use GE's brand over the long term, and expects synergies of about $200 million per year after five years.

The deal will require approval from national regulators.