It probably would have been a good merger or takeover, but it didn’t happen.
Emerson Electric’s initial $27 billion bid to buy Rockwell Automation was rejected by the latter company’s board, as was the former’s subsequent, raised bid of $29 billion.
Some business analysts said combining strengths would be a good move for both companies, but Rockwell seems to have plans of its own which do not include a takeover or merger.
Rockwell has recently launched a range of new, innovative products and services around industrial automation.
These offerings have featured such things as computer infrastructure-as-a-service, or IaaS as it’s known.
They have also featured artificial intelligence systems for data analysis.
These are likely to become important foundations for Rockwell going forward, as more and more industrial companies put all their machinery on the internet and generate colossal amounts of data which have to be collated and analysed.
Potentially vast sums of money are involved and the opportunity to become the Amazon of the industrial sector are possible motivations for Rockwell.
But the problem is that Amazon is also one of the companies offering services to the industrial market – its Amazon Web Services has gained much ground in the sector.
An increasing number of companies are using the AWS cloud as their platform to collate, manage and analyse the data from their machines.
General Electric recently decided against building its own data centres in favour of using AWS.
And given that AWS is the largest cloud services provider in the world, Rockwell could be seen to be on the verge of an enormous market opportunity.
But perhaps it would have had more muscle had it teamed up with Emerson in this endeavour.
For Emerson, like many other industrial companies, acquiring an automation platform and data platform such as the one Rockwell already has and is building would have been a great purchase.
But both companies look like they will now move on and continue with the various acquisitions of smaller companies in order to build what they could have had if they joined each other.