Emerson Withdraws Proposal to Acquire Rockwell Automation

After making multiple offers to buy Rockwell Automation Inc., Emerson Electric Co. said Tuesday it was rescinding its offer because of the target company's board's "unwillingness to engage in discussions."

Emerson had tried three times to buy Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation, increasing the purchase price with each offer. In its latest deal, Emerson was offering Rockwell $225 a share, up from its earlier offers of $200 and $215.

Shares of Rockwell fell 2.4% in premarket trading, while Emerson shares rose 1.2%.

Emerson Chief Executive David Farr lamented Rockwell's decision in prepared remarks Tuesday, saying the company was "disappointed" Rockwell's board wouldn't talk about the offer.

"Instead of engaging in constructive dialogue, the Rockwell Board decided to let this unique and value-generative opportunity go unexplored," he said.

In a letter sent earlier this month to Mr. Farr, Rockwell CEO Blake Moret said his company considered the deal but decided that the proposal wasn't in the best interests of the company or its shareholders.

"While Emerson may see this proposed acquisition as necessary to enhance its growth and earnings potential and expand its capabilities in the industrial automation and information market, Rockwell Automation does not," Mr. Moret said in the letter.

Write to Allison Prang at allison.prang@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 28, 2017 07:53 ET (12:53 GMT)