British engineering firm Invensys ends talks with Emerson Electric

Invensys Plc, the British engineering and software company, whose market capitalisation is around $3.3 billion, yesterday said that it has ended takeover talks with US industrial giant Emerson Electric and other potential suitors, without an offer being made.

''The company regularly assesses the value of its portfolio of businesses both as part of its strategic planning process and in response to expressions of interest in relation to certain parts of the group,'' the London-based company said in a statement today. ''These discussions, however, are no longer ongoing.''

Invensy, whose business includes manufacturing rail signalling and industrial automation systems, has been in talks with potential suitors, including Siemens and General Electric on selling itself wholly or some parts of itself, according to several media reports.

Bloomberg had earlier reported that Emerson Electric was keen on buying Invensys's Foxboro unit, which makes meters and control systems, but could consider acquiring the whole of the London-listed business in order to get hold of the Foxboro division.

Invensy did not reveal as to why Emerson Electric backed away from making an offer, but potential suitors may have been deterred by Invensys's £426-million pension scheme deficit.

Formed through the 1999 merger between BTR plc and Siebe plc, Invensy makes control systems for nuclear power stations, industry, railways and domestic appliances.