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Rockwell Completes Reliance Takeover, Plans to Sell Telecommunications Unit

Rockwell International Corp. said Monday that it has completed its $1.6-billion cash acquisition of Reliance Electric Co. and now will try to sell the Cleveland company’s telecommunications business.

Rockwell, based in Seal Beach, acquired all of Reliance’s shares outstanding on Friday. However, it had taken control in early December by acquiring a majority of the stock in a hostile bid for the manufacturer of industrial automation equipment and telecommunications products.

Rockwell is merging Reliance into its Allen-Bradley industrial automation business, but it has hired an investment banker to find a buyer for the Reliance Comm-Tec unit, a sale that could help Rockwell recoup about $200 million of its purchase price.

Reliance has 14,000 employees worldwide, 3,800 of whom are with Comm-Tec. Rockwell said it is not sure yet how many of the remaining employees it will keep or whether the operations will be moved into Allen-Bradley’s Cleveland plant.

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