Rockwell Automation (ROK) Said to Attract Takeover Interest from Schneider Electric - Source

October 21, 2016 10:54 AM EDT

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Wisconsin-based Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) has attracted interest from France's Schneider Electric, according to a source claiming to have knowledge of the matter. Schneider Electric is said to be preparing a takeover proposal that would value the assembly-line components maker at $18 billion.

The deal's size would make a potential merger one of the largest in the industrial sector this year.

Rumors about a takeover of Rockwell have been in hibernation for a few years, but they aren't necessary new. With relatively little debt and strong free cash flow, Rockwell has long been considered a target. Whether the company would be a willing seller and at what price may be another matter.

Representatives for Rockwell Automation and Schneider Electric haven't responded to a request to comment.

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