| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 1994
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT APPROVES DIVESTITURE BY
EATON CORPORATION TO THOMAS & BETTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice's Antitrust Division today approved a proposed divestiture that preserves competition so that homeowners and businesses will get the best quality and lowest prices for circuit breakers and switches used to distribute electricity throughout homes and offices.
The Antitrust Division approved a plan under which the Eaton Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio, as part of its proposed acquisition of the Distribution and Control Business Unit of the Westinghouse Corporation of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, would sell a package of assets used in the manufacture of circuit breakers and switches to a third company, Thomas & Betts of Memphis, Tennessee.
The Department had previously indicated to the parties that the acquisition raised serious antitrust concerns in the manufacture and sale of residential and industrial circuit breakers, safety switches and load centers in the United States. These are products used to ensure the safe distribution of electricity in homes, buildings and industrial plants.
Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, said, "This divestiture preserves competition for the sale of basic products that are essential for the safe use of electricity so that homeowners, businesses and other buyers are ensured the best quality products at the lowest possible prices."
Eaton has agreed to sell Thomas & Betts a package of assets relating to residential circuit breakers, switches, metering devices and load centers now sold under the Westinghouse and Challenger brand names. The package also includes Eaton's industrial circuit breakers. Operations at Westinghouse plants in Vidalia, Georgia, and Canovanas, Puerto Rico, will be acquired along with other production equipment, supply agreements and options to purchase additional assets.
The sale will enable Thomas & Betts, a leading manufacturer of connectors, lighting fixtures and other electrical equipment, to become a substantial competitor in the manufacture and sale of power distribution equipment.