ABB, the international power and automation technology firm which operates its U.S. headquarters in Cary, is acquiring Arkansas-based Baldor Electric (NYSE: BEZ) in a deal valued at $4.2 billion.

ABB (NYSE: ABB) will pay $63.50 a share for Baldor

The merger is intended to improve ABB’s competitive position in North America in the industrial motors market as well as expand its industrial motion control business, ABB said.

ABB has a strong and growing presence in the Triangle and North Carolina.

In September, the company said it would invest $10 million in a new “Smart Grid Center of Excellence” at North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus.

The company also recently announced plans to expand its Cary operation and to build a new production plant in North Carolina.
ABB said the center will launch at its existing Centennial Campus operation and include “several” full-time employees.

Baldor’s headquarters are located in Fort Smith, Ark. Its management is being retained by ABB, and Fort Smith will become the headquarters for the combined company’s motor and generator business in North America.

The boards of both companies have already approved the deal. It is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

The stock price offer is a 41 percent premium over Baldor’s closing price on Friday.

Baldor employs some 7,000 people and reported a profit of $184 million on $1.29 billion in revenues for the first nine months of this year.

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