Westinghouse sold for $4.6B
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
By Caleb Harshberger
January 6, 2018
Click for larger picture
Westinghouse Electric Company announced Thursday that the company will be acquired by Brookfield Business Partners L.P. for $4.6 billion.

CRANBERRY — Westinghouse Electric Company announced Thursday that the company will be acquired by Brookfield Business Partners L.P. for $4.6 billion.

The announcement comes after Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, citing financial losses from a failed nuclear power plant construction project in South Carolina. Company officials also pointed to difficulties with a project in Georgia that led to billions of dollars in losses.

The acquisition price includes all of the global business of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC and its affiliated debtors and debtors-in-possession, as well as the assumption of certain pension, environmental and other operating obligations, according to a Westinghouse press release.

The purchase is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2018, and Westinghouse says operations and management at the Cranberry office will not be effected during that time.

Westinghouse employs around 2,200 people in Cranberry and around 3,400 in Western Pennsylvania.

The news was well-received in the area, where officials saw both short- and long-term advantages.

“I think its positive,” said Mark Gordon, chief of economic development for Butler County. “First of all, Brookfield Business Partners LP trade on the New York Stock Exchange, and the markets seem really receptive to them. At about 2 p.m. (Thursday) they were up about a $1.40.”

Additionally, the new ownership and influx of money will likely be good for the bankrupt company, he said.

Cranberry officials also expect the sale will bode well for the township.

“We think this is a positive sign, and we’re excited for a bright future in Butler County,” said Jerry Andree, Cranberry Township manager. “You won’t see the ‘W’ going away from the building.”

Township officials have been meeting with Westinghouse representatives and feel that the worst is behind them.

“We’re excited,” said Chelsea Puff, manager of business and economic development for the township. “We feel very positive about it.”

Brookfield Business Partners said in a release that Westinghouse’s strengths include “a well-established installed base of long-term customers globally,” and a “strong reputation driven by focus on innovation.”

Westinghouse officials said the purchase shows the company’s continued merit and the benefits these processes.

“It will allow Westinghouse to reaffirm its position as the global leader in the nuclear business,” said Gordon, “That’s a position they have held for a longtime, and that’s a nice position to be in post bankruptcy protection.”

Westinghouse is also moving forward with the power plant in Georgia after a recent decision by Georgia Power, and are increasing their international reach, Gordon said.

“They are also trying to tap into the most lucrative international market which is Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Westinghouse credits the last year of restructuring efforts for much of their growth.

“Our transformation and strategic restructuring process is creating a stronger, stable and more streamlined global Westinghouse business, for the benefit of our customers and employees,” said José Emeterio Gutiérrez, president and CEO of Westinghouse.