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 HOUSTON, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Following approval at a special board meeting on Oct. 11, Cooper Industries, Inc. (NYSE: CBE) announced today several major actions to rationalize, realign and revitalize its operations. These actions represent the final stages of a seven-step program begun in late 1991 to reduce costs, concentrate on areas of market strength, and thereby address the competitive pressures anticipated in the '90s.
 The share earnings impact of these actions will be offset by the one-time gain the company realized from the recent divestiture of its Belden wire and cable business. The completion of the initial public offering of Belden common stock resulted in a pre-tax gain of $274 million.
 "This continues our practice of using one-time gains to improve the competitive condition of the company's ongoing operations," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Cizik noted.
 The current actions will affect all of Cooper's business segments. Included are the revaluation of Cooper's Cameron Forged Products business, reflecting the recent agreement to sell this business to Wyman-Gordon Company (OTC: WYMN); a revaluation of electrical transformer operations to align asset values with current market conditions; a number of cost-saving actions, including plant closings and facilities consolidations affecting other business units; and the tax-free spin-off of the Gardner-Denver Industrial Machinery Division.
 "The slow growth of world economies and the steady increase of competition continue to challenge all of our businesses, despite ongoing productivity investments and cost improvements," said Cizik. "These changes will lower operating costs and improve our earnings potential." The benefits of these changes will more than offset the share earnings reduction from the divestiture of Belden and the planned spin-off of the Gardner-Denver Industrial Machinery Division, Cizik continued.
 Cooper will spin off to common shareholders the Gardner-Denver Industrial Machinery Division, a manufacturer of plant air compressors, air blowers, and equipment and pumps for oil and gas exploration and production, in a tax-free transaction.
 The Gardner-Denver Industrial Machinery Division joined Cooper when it was acquired in 1979 as part of the Gardner-Denver Company. "The Industrial Machinery Division we operate today is not the business we acquired in 1979," explained Cizik.
 "The division has been successful in refocusing operations as its primary business, equipment for oil and gas exploration and production, dwindled in the '80s. Today, it primarily manufactures industrial equipment and is no longer the complement to our other oilfield operations that it was intended to be," Cizik said.
 The Gardner-Denver Industrial Machinery Division, headquartered in Quincy, Ill., has annual sales of about $160 million and net assets of approximately $175 million. The business has been profitable in recent years. "We believe that, as an independent company, Gardner-Denver Machinery Inc. will be a viable entity in which management focus can be concentrated, and the benefits of a future turnaround in the oil and gas exploration and production equipment market can be fully realized," Cizik stated. The division is part of Cooper's Petroleum & Industrial Equipment business segment.
 In other business, the board approved a common stock repurchase program in a maximum amount of $300 million to provide shares for existing employee stock purchase, option and incentive plans; for the company's Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan; and for anticipated conversions of its $1.60 Convertible Exchangeable Preferred Stock.
 Cooper Industries, with 1992 revenues of $6.2 billion, is a diversified, worldwide manufacturer of electrical products, electrical power equipment, tools and hardware, automotive products, and petroleum and industrial equipment.
 -0- 10/12/93
 /CONTACT: Ellen H. Orsburn, director, Corporate Communications of Cooper Industries, Inc., 713-739-5423/

CO: Cooper Industries, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: CPR SU: RCN

WB -- NY029 -- 1003 10/12/93 10:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 12, 1993

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