Robbins & Myers sale may not close until February

Updated at: 12/22/2012 3:36 PM
By The Associated Press

Engineered equipment supplier Robbins & Myers Inc. said on Saturday that its pending acquisition by National Oilwell Varco Inc. cannot close before Feb. 18, unless federal antitrust regulators grant consent before then.

Robbins & Myers also said that it and National Oilwell Varco have agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice to provide the agency at least 30 days’ notice before concluding the deal, which was announced in August.

The update came two weeks after Robbins & Myers said that antitrust inquiries by U.S. and Canadian will push the closing into 2013.

National Oilwell Varco plans to buy Robbins & Myers for $2.55 billion. Both companies are based in Houston and do business around the world in the oil and gas industry. Robbins & Myers makes and services pumps, valves and other equipment used to control the flow of oil and gas in drilling operations.

Robbins & Myers has scheduled its special meeting of shareholders on Dec. 27 to consider approval of the deal.

As of Saturday, 99.8 percent of the shareholder votes cast have been in favor of the transaction, with a sufficient number received to approve the deal, Robbins & Myers said. However, shareholders have a right to change or rescind votes before the special meeting.

In addition to providing an update on the deal’s status, Robbins & Myers on Saturday reported that its fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 9 percent from the year-ago period, in part due to costs related to its pending acquisition.

Robbins & Myers reported net income of $32 million, or 76 cents per share, for the period ended Nov. 30. That was down from earnings of $35.3 million, or 77 cents per share, in the year-ago period, when the company had a greater number of shares outstanding.

The company booked acquisition-related costs of 5 cents per share in the latest quarter.

Sales rose 8 percent to $257.3 million, but the cost of sales grew at a faster pace of nearly 15 percent, to $162.5 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected earnings of 85 cents per share on revenue of $249.6 million.

Messages left with a Robbins & Myers spokesman on Saturday to comment on the weekend timing of the company’s earnings release were not immediately returned. It is unusual for companies to release financial results on weekends.

Shares of Robbins & Myers closed on Friday at $59.50.

Under the proposed all-cash acquisition by National Oilwell Varco, Robbins & Myers shareholders would receive $60 per share.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)