FILE PHOTO: Emerson Electric Company Canadian headquarters is shown in Markham February 7, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese
(Reuters) – Hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co is building a stake in Emerson Electric Co (EMR.N) and is planning to push for changes, including a potential split-up of the U.S. industrial conglomerate, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
Emerson, which pursued an unsuccessful $29 billion acquisition bid for peer Rockwell Automation Inc (ROK.N) two years ago, has long been seen as a potential break-up candidate among investors and analysts. Its automation solutions business serves mostly industrial clients, while its remaining divisions cater primarily to commercial and residential markets.
D.E. Shaw is in the process of building a position in Emerson as it prepares to pressure the company to pursue a split and other changes, the sources said.
The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. D.E. Shaw and Emerson declined to comment.
Emerson shares jumped 1.3% to $64.99 on the news, giving the company a market capitalization of $40 billion.
Emerson’s strength is in process automation, helping power plants and factories in sectors such as mining and cement operate more efficiently.
Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Tom Brown