Emerson Makes $7.6B Bid for National Instruments

It’s being described as a hostile takeover attempt after previous offers from Emerson were rebuffed.
Emerson logo sign outside of its headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri.

After previous bids went rebuffed, technology and software conglomerate Emerson Electric is upping the ante as it looks to acquire automated electronic test equipment maker National Instruments.

On Jan. 17, Emerson announced that it has made a $7.6 billion bid for National Instruments in what many news outlets are calling a hostile takeover attempt. In a news release, Emerson said that NI has avoided serious buyout negotiations since early 2022.

National Instruments sign at its headquarters in Austin, Texas

St. Louis-based Emerson’s new offer of $53 per share for NI is up from the initial $48 per share offering it submitted on May 25 of last year, and Emerson said it has made “numerous attempts to engage constructively with NI in private since May 16, 2022.

According to Emerson, the new proposal represents a 32% premium to NI’s closing share price as of Jan. 12 — which was the day prior to NI’s public announcement of a strategic company review. It also represents a 45% premium to NI’s closing share price as of Nov. 3, 2022 — which Emerson said was the day Emerson submitted its previous most recent acquisition proposal.

“Although Emerson would have preferred to reach an agreement privately, given NI’s announcement that it is undertaking a strategic review, and after refusing to work with us toward a premium cash transaction over the past eight months, we are making our interest public for the benefit of all NI shareholders,” said Lal Karsanbhai, Emerson President and CEO.

On Jan. 13, NI announced that its board of directors had initiated a review and evaluation of strategic options to maximize shareholder value, with that process including “robust solicitation” of interest from potential acquirers.

NI acknowledged the receipt of Emerson’s new and previous proposals in a Jan. 17 news release and said its board of directors “Will evaluate Emerson’s proposal within the context of the ongoing strategic review process” and that “NI welcomes Emerson’s interest and participation in the process, as NI has previously informed Emerson.”

NI also acknowledged Emerson’s “expressed disappointment in this effort to maximize NI shareholder value.”

Emerson said a combination with NI would gain it a complementary portfolio of differentiated electronic test and measurement offerings and a technology stack of intelligent devices, controls and software. Emerson noted that test and measurement is one of its four priority market segments going forward, as outlined in its Nov. 29, 2022 investor conference.

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