Dealer Busts

Emerson Should Know When to Fold

And that time is now.
Photographer: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
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It's over, Emerson.

The industrial company has now been rejected three times by its desired target, Rockwell Automation Inc. The maker of assembly-line controls on Wednesday said Emerson Electric Co.'s latest $225-a-share cash-and-stock bid undervalues it. It's telling that Emerson shares rose on this news: Investors are hoping it will finally give up this harebrained scheme. Strategically, Rockwell is attractive for Emerson because it would complement the company's existing automation technologies and give it a leg up in the push to digitize industrial equipment. But the takeover has never made much financial sense. Emerson just doesn't have the firepower to pull it off.

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Emerson Should Know When to Fold