February 28, 2019 / 12:48 PM / a year ago

ABB rules out large acquisitions for near future

Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer of Swiss power technology and automation group ABB gestures as he addresses the company's annual news conference in Zurich, Switzerland February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - ABB will not be making big acquisitions in the near future, Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer said on Thursday, saying money raised from the near-$8 billion gained from the sale of its power grids business will go to shareholders.

Management will be busy with the company’s restructuring for the next year and a half, Spiesshofer told Reuters on the sidelines of a press conference. Future acquisitions would depend on ABB having the management capacity to integrate the target company.

“You should not expect acquisitions in the tens of billions,” Spiesshofer said, adding smaller technology purchases could still be possible in areas like measurement technology.

“At the moment the plan is very clear, we are going to return the money - we have a strong cash flow and a clear direction going forward.”

Reporting by John Revill and Oliver Hirt

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