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January 24, 2012 6:48 PM

Fried Frank, Dorsey & Whitney Advise on $1.15 Billion Automotive Sale

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Industrial equipment maker SPX Corporation said Tuesday that it has agreed to sell its automotive business to German auto-parts and engineering company Robert Bosch for $1.15 billion in cash.

Stuttgart, Germany–based Bosch is buying the company, Service Solutions, which sells diagnostic products and specialty tools used by car repair shops. The deal is expected to close in the first half of the year, pending regulatory approval. 

With the transaction, SPX—which makes everything from food processing systems to power transformers— is narrowing its product offerings. The Charlotte, North Carolina–based company is divesting its auto unit to expand its industrial pumps and valves business, which will represent more than half of SPX's overall revenue in the future, CEO Christopher Kearney said in a statement.

Part of the proceeds from the sale will go to paying off debt, SPX said.

Bosch turned to Dorsey & Whitney as lead outside counsel on the transaction. The firm's team includes New York–based M&A of counsel Brian McGunigle, as well as corporate partner Christopher Bellini in Minneapolis. Assistant general counsel Judith Adler is leading Bosch's in-house team.

McGunigle has advised Bosch on a number of past transactions, including 2008's purchase of a leveling and surveying instruments business for $205 million from The Stanley Works (before that company's merger with Black & Decker).

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, meanwhile, is advising SPX, with a team led by New York–based corporate partners Aviva Diamant and Tiffany Pollard. The company's in-house legal team includes general counsel Kevin Lilly, assistant general counsel Stephen Tsoris, and segment general counsel Nichole Tharrington.

The sale of Service Solutions is SPX's largest divestiture since the 2004 sale of its fire detection unit to General Electric, according to The New York Times. Fried Frank advised SPX in that transaction.

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