Power-One shareholders sue ABB

17. May 2013 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Sandra Enkhardt

Swiss power and automation technologies giant ABB announced on April 22 the acquisition of inverter manufacturer U.S. Power-One. But shareholders of the American company are claiming that the US$1 billion sale price is too low. On Tuesday they filed a class action against ABB.

The shareholders and Power-One would "do much better remaining on their own through this purportedly lucrative growth cycle."

Power-One shareholders have filed a class action on Tuesday claiming that ABB's proposed $1 billion acquisition price is too low, according to U.S. news source "Law360". The shareholders believe that ABB has undervalued the American inverter and have not taken into consideration the fact that the energy market is "set to explode over the next decade."

The action was filed by Mario Furtado at the Delaware Chancery Court. He cited as main reasons to turn down the offer, figures from the U.S. Department of Energy which say that global energy demands will double by 2025, and a forecast from the International Energy Agency which predicts a 10% growth in photovoltaic systems every year until 2021.

The shareholders and Power-One would "do much better remaining on their own through this purportedly lucrative growth cycle," said the news report.
The ABB board of directors had agreed to the acquisition of Power-One for US$1,028 million in equity value or $6.35 per share in cash on April 22.

The day before the deal was announced, Power-One shares traded at $4.04 on the Nasdaq and ABB offered the U.S. manufacturer a 57% premium on top of that. However, Furtado argues that the stock could trade at a much higher price, since it had traded in the $7 range in the past year. On the same day the deal was announced the price climbed 59% to $6.34.

Nevertheless, the merger is still subject to regulatory approvals and shareholder vote, according to the report by news source Law360. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2013.

Translated and edited by Vera von Kreutzbruck.


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