Actuant plans to sell marine businesses

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Actuant Corp. CEO Bob Arzbaecher said the group expects to sell its electrical segment as a whole and will look at using the proceeds for future acquisitions and stock buybacks, but emphasized that there was “no huge deal around the corner.”

“[It] really comes down to portfolio management,” Arzbaecher said during a conference call Monday to discuss the company’s decision to sell its electrical segment.

Actuant’s marine businesses include Marinco, which makes marine shore-power and electrical products; Mastervolt, which makes power products, including batteries, battery chargers, inverters, monitors, and digital switching and integrated systems; and BEP Marine Ltd., which specializes in marine electrical distribution products.

The decision to sell the group’s electrical segment was so the company could focus on “macro growth drivers” and came “after a great deal of thought, discussion and analysis.”

When asked by a JP Morgan Chase & Co analyst why the sale was announced at such an early stage of the process, Arzbaecher said Actuant is a “pretty transparent organization for employees and other stakeholders. The segments operate pretty autonomously.”

Arzbaecher didn’t offer a price estimate for what the segment would bring, saying he’d rather let the market decide.

“This is a pretty healthy business from an electrical point of view,” he said. “We really do expect this will be an important asset for somebody.”

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