Swiss ABB to buy unit from General Electric for $2.6 billion

Swiss robotics and industrial machinery maker ABB is buying the electrification services unit of U.S. conglomerate General Electric in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, boosting its presence in its crucial North American market.

The deal between ABB, which provides high-tech equipment for the transport, utility and infrastructure industries, and GE is expected to close in the first half of next year.

In a joint statement, the companies say the electrification services unit was not a "core business" for GE.

The Swiss company expects the transaction to add to its bottom line within the first year. ABB says it will retain the right to use GE's brand over the long-term, and expects synergies of about $200 million per year after five years.

The deal will require approval from national regulators.