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Deloitte lights the way for international acquisition

Supporting ABB on its purchase of GE Industrial Solutions

A $2.6 billion deal has brought together two powers of the worldwide electrification sector.

Zurich-based ABB is a leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids. In September 2017, it put pen to paper on the purchase of GE Industrial Solutions, a business with 130 years of history, customers in 100 countries and deep roots
in North America.

The move has bolstered ABB’s second-place global position in the industry and given the 14,000 employees of GE Industrial Solutions a new future for their business.

Teamwork on a global scale

With both companies trading internationally, and each with a legacy spanning more than a century, completing the deal was always going to be a large-scale operation. But our knowledge of these clients meant we knew how they could fit together.

More than 50 colleagues from across borders and member firms joined forces on the project. Financial Advisory, Tax and Consulting teams in Switzerland, the UK and the US worked alongside tax experts in Puerto Rico and Hungary, IT specialists from Poland and India and HR practitioners from Germany. Everything was co-ordinated from hubs in Zurich and Atlanta in the US, where GE Industrial Solutions had its headquarters.

“This carve-out from another global conglomerate has been the most comprehensive and challenging acquisition in ABB's history. Deloitte played a pivotal role in supporting the process and providing the expert knowledge needed to close this deal.”

Adrien Moser, ABB M&A Lead for the acquisition of GE Industrial Solutions

Due diligence began in early 2017. Working with both companies, we helped the client structure the deal and offered tax advice ahead of the agreement being signed. Ultimately, we helped our clients finalise an acquisition spanning 55 countries and over 100 individual local transactions, as seamlessly as possible.

An historic deal

“The collaboration across teams and countries was very successful and there were real benefits to having people based locally who understood the different markets and work cultures,” says Michael van der Boom, Financial Advisory Partner for Deloitte Switzerland.

“This has been a unique experience in many ways. Being instrumental to the client in closing one of the most important deals in its history and working with a team of mergers and acquisitions experts around the world, out of eight different countries, has been a prime example of cross-border collaboration.”


Stephanie Dobbs

Public Relations Manager

+44 20 7303 2636

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