Swedish Firm to Buy Williams’ Yale Lock Unit
Williams agreed to sell its Yale lock unit to Sweden’s Assa Abloy for $1.3 billion and will split its remaining Chubb Security Services and Kidde Yale fire units into separately traded companies to spur growth. The Derby, England-based company expects to complete the breakup by the end of the year, giving investors a choice between the world’s biggest maker of fire extinguishers for airplanes and a services company specializing in electronic security and surveillance systems. Williams has been studying ways to stem a decline in profit and regain investor interest in brands that are leaders in the U.S., Europe and Asia since talks on acquiring Tyco International Ltd. fell apart in July. Williams’ American depositary receipts rose $3.50 to close at $15.75 in over-the-counter trading.