Two Atlanta deals: GE selling, Genuine Parts buying

Two multi-billion dollar deals involving Atlanta were announced Monday – one in which a local company made a European acquisition, one in which a European giant snapped up an Atlanta-based unit of General Electric.

GE Industrial Solutions, a 13,500-employee firm headquartered in Atlanta, was sold to Swiss-based ABB for $2.6 billion.

Boston-based General Electric had been under pressure from some investors to unload the unit, which provides circuit breakers, transformers and power systems equipment, and has annual revenues of $2.7 billion.

Some investors considered the unit a drag on earnings.

The sale was seen as another step in the slimming down – and refocusing – of General Electric. It was also another in a series of acquisitions by ABB.

ABB did not announce plans to cut jobs, but the company’s official statement promising savings of $200 million in the fifth year after the purchases.

However, any trimming could also come from ABB units where there is overlap.

As part of the agreement, ABB and General Electric will forge a strategic partnership allowing ABB to use the GE brand name.

Also announced Monday was a purchase by Genuine Parts Co., which said it has reached a deal to buy Alliance Automotive Group, a London-based distributor of vehicle parts, tools and workshop equipment.

The acquisition is valued at $2 billion, the company said.

AAG is the second largest parts distribution company in Europe, focused on light vehicle and commercial vehicle replacement parts, according to an official company statement.

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