Schneider Electric To Buy APC For $6.1 Billion

In an early-morning announcement, the companies said Schnieder Electric would acquire all outstanding shares of APC, West Kingston, R.I., for $31 per share, well above Friday's closing stock price of $23.76 per share for APC.

The deal combines Schneider Electric's business in electrical distribution, industrial control and automation projects with APC's core business in data center power, cooling and infrastructure management.

In a statement, the companies said APC's Board of Directors has given approval to the deal, which must still be approved by APC shareholders. The merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007, they said in their statement.

In prepared remarks, APC President and CEO Rob Johnson described the deal as strategic for his company. "Upon completion of the transaction, APC will become part of Schneider Electric, with greater resources to accomplish our long-term plans, which will be favorable for our employees, customers, business partners and suppliers worldwide," Johnson said.

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In 2005, Schneider Electric reported $14.8 billion in sales, while APC reported almost $2 billion in sales. Both companies are profitable, and on a year-over-year basis Schneider Electric has reported a rise in profit of more than 40 percent in 2006 compared to 2005, according to its most recent financial statement.