Hughes Hubbard Assists in 2012's Biggest Merger Between Eaton, Cooper


News & Events | International Trade | Deals & Matters

Hughes Hubbard & Reed handled the international trade aspects of Eaton Corp.’s $13 billion purchase of electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries – the largest US acquisition of 2012, according to The Street. Eaton employs more 100 thousand people around the world and is a global leader in power management and electrical systems.

The acquisition, which was first announced in May and officially closed Nov. 30, 2013, transforms Cleveland-based Eaton and Houston-based Cooper into one of the world’s largest companies. “The $13 billion acquisition of Cooper, the largest in Eaton’s 101-year history, is a transformational milestone that expands our market segment reach, broadens our portfolio of products, services and solutions, and strengthens our global geographic footprint,” Alexander Cutler, chairman and chief executive of Eaton, said in a press release. Cutler added that he expects integration of the two companies to take between two and three years, depending on business conditions.

Founded in 1911 to build truck axles, Eaton manufactures items, including electrical components, hydraulic products and aerospace parts. Cooper, founded in 1833, manufactures electrical components. New Eaton will create a wide range of products, including lighting, power grids, and hydraulic and transmission systems for aerospace and defense companies.

According to Bloomberg, Eaton’s purchase is the largest in at least a decade in miscellaneous manufacturing. In addition to Bloomberg and The Street, the deal drew headlines in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other outlets.

Amanda DeBusk, Melissa Duffy and Cynthia Liu represented Eaton. They made numerous voluminous filings before the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to:

  • Obtain approval for the merger
  • Obtain registration for a new company 
  • Begin the process of transferring agreements and licenses to the new license holder.

The process of transferring agreements and licenses is complex and ongoing. Hughes Hubbard will be supporting Eaton throughout this regulatory process.