ABB to acquire Entrelec of France

€310-million deal aimed at broadening product offering, building presence in key markets

Zurich, Switzerland, April 9, 2001 – ABB has launched a friendly bid to acquire the French company Entrelec, a Lyon-based supplier of industrial automation and control products. The acquisition is aimed at expanding ABB’s product range and reinforcing its position in key European and American markets.

“This acquisition is a very effective strategic fit for both companies and will open significant new growth opportunities, creating a broader product offering and a stronger presence in some important markets,” said ABB president and CEO, Jörgen Centerman.

Under the terms of the bid, ABB will make a public tender offer in cash for all 4.9 million outstanding shares of Entrelec, which is listed on the French stock exchange (second marché). ABB will offer €63 per share, representing a premium of 22.5 percent compared to the share price at the close of trading on April 5, which was €51.45.

The value of the bid on a fully diluted basis is approximately €310 million.

Entrelec supplies industrial automation and control products, including electrical connecting devices, time relays, signalling and safety devices, as well as wiring accessories for the housing market.

Jouko Karvinen, ABB Executive Vice President and head of the Automation Technology Products division, said “Entrelec’s technology, product scope and channels to market complement ours extremely well, with few overlaps. We will now bring together two very strong product lines and two global customer networks which we believe will provide growth as well as significant economies of scale in, for example, R&D, marketing and sales, and logistics.”

Karvinen said that wholesalers of low-voltage products, for example, are demanding a complete array of products from suppliers, so by integrating Entrelec’s product line, ABB can offer an even wider range of low-voltage products and business solutions.

Entrelec operates in 17 countries and employs about 2,000 people, with a strong presence in France, the U.S. and Germany.

The company has production sites in France, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, the United States and Mexico.

The terms of the proposal have been approved by the Entrelec Board of Directors, who unanimously recommended the offer as fair and in the best interests of Entrelec shareholders. ABB said the transaction is not subject to financing. BNP Paribas will act as dealer manager for ABB’s bid.

ABB (www.abb.com) serves manufacturing, process and consumer industries, utilities, the oil and gas markets, with 160,000 employees in more than 100 countries. Shares are traded on the New York, London, Zurich, Stockholm and Frankfurt stock exchanges.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities.

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