Emerson to look to bolt-on acquisitions after Rockwell bids were rejected
Automated manufacturing giant Emerson has announced that it has withdrawn from its proposal to buy Rockwell Automation, having failed to secure merger discussions with the Rockwell Board of Directors.
“The Rockwell Board again rejected our offer, which would have delivered approximately $30bn of value to Rockwell shareholders,” said Emerson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Farr.
“We are disappointed that the Rockwell Board refused even to discuss the potential combination of our two great companies. Instead of engaging in constructive dialogue, the Rockwell Board decided to let this unique and value-generative opportunity go unexplored.”
As a result, Emerson will now look to alternative strategic plans that include the acceleration of share repurchases, expecting to buy back up to $1bn within the next 12 months, in addition to purchasing a number of “bolt-on acquisitions”.
“Our Company is in a great position – we have successfully repositioned our portfolio over the last two years, and have market-leading platforms in Automation Solutions and Commercial & Residential Solutions, both of which are performing well and have very attractive growth outlooks,” Farr continued.
“Our future is bright, and we remain focused on accelerating core growth through new market penetration, technology innovation and strategic bolt-on acquisitions.”
Since it first became known that Emerson was looking to acquire Rockwell Automation on 31 October, Rockwell’s shares have risen 2.2%, whilst Emerson’s have dropped 8.1%.
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.