India’s leading engineering, technology, construction and financial services conglomerate, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), announced the closure of the strategic divestment of its Electrical & Automation (L&T E&A) business to Schneider Electric, a global player in energy management and automation.
The significant and complex divestment deal, one of its kind in India announced in May 2018 has been completed after receiving the requisite regulatory approvals and fulfilment of necessary conditions. Announcing this on August 31, the company stated that the divestment was in line with L&T’s stated goal of unlocking value for future growth. It described its exit from the Electrical & Automation Business as “a part of the strategic portfolio review process”.
Commenting on the closure of this divestment, AM Naik, Group Chairman, Larsen & Toubro, said, “The closure of divestment of the E&A business is a key milestone in our stated long-term strategy. The challenge was to carve out a business of this scale, with minimum disruption to the sprawling customer base and do it all amid the constraints of a pandemic. We believe Schneider Electric is the right partner to grow the business, that L&T had nurtured and grown over the decades. We truly believe that this deal with Schneider Electric is a win-win for our employees, business partners and shareholders.”
SN Subrahmanyan, CEO & Managing Director, Larsen & Toubro said, “This all-cash deal will help us create a much stronger balance sheet, thereby creating long-term value opportunities for our stakeholders by focusing on key aspects of the business. The deal was a complex M&A transaction involving slump sale of the domestic business and share purchase transfer. This is in sync with our strategy to look at L&T in broadly three areas, EPC construction and projects, manufacturing and defence and services.”
L&T’s E&A business with its wide range of low and medium voltage switchgear, electrical systems, industrial and building automation solutions, energy management systems, metering solutions and projects and services business are transferred to Schneider Electric. Schneider Electric will use related brand insignia for a specified period as the brand is very popular and has a strong brand recall in the switchgear market.
About 5,000 employees of the E&A business will become part of Schneider Electric’s global family. The manufacturing facilities of E&A in Navi Mumbai, Ahmednagar, Vadodara, Coimbatore and Mysuru in India and related subsidiaries in UAE, Kuwait, Malaysia and Indonesia are also being transferred to Schneider Electric. Because of the pending local approvals, the subsidiary in Saudi Arabia, L&T Electrical & Automation Saudi Arabia Company Ltd (LTEASA), will be transferred to Schneider, once the requisite regulatory approvals are in place.
L&T, over the past five years, in line with its strategy to focus on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and services business, has exited several verticals. The recent divestment of its stake in ports, insurance, road concessions and other businesses have all unlocked value and this deal with Schneider Electric will further strengthen the balance sheet.
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) Legal Advisors, Ernst & Young (EY) LLP and Arpwood Capital acted as advisors to L&T on this transaction.