Testing and measurement equipment maker National Instruments has decided that Fortive and Keysight Technologies have the potential to top Emerson Electric’s $7 billion bid for the company, Reuters news report said.
Emerson, Fortive and Keysight are all providers of automation solutions facilitating manufacturing in various industries.
National Instruments this week informed Emerson, Fortive and Keysight that their offers qualify them to go through the second round of bidding for the company.
National Instruments put itself up for sale in January after Emerson threatened to challenge its board if it did not engage in deal negotiations. Emerson dropped that threat once the sale process for National Instruments got underway.
The value of the first-round bids could not be learned and it is unclear if National Instruments will, by the end of the process, receive an offer it deems superior to Emerson’s $53-per-share all-cash bid, or whether Emerson will revise its offer. National Instruments ended trading on Thursday at $50.62 a share.
National Instruments expects the sale process to be completed by early April.
Austin, Texas-based National Instruments specializes in the production of automated testing and measurement tools for the semiconductor, transportation, aerospace and defense industries.
Emerson has been involved in a string of deals over the last few years to reshape itself into a provider of industrial automation products and services. Fortive, an industrial conglomerate, and Keysight, an instrumentation company, have also been looking for acquisitions in the test and measurement sectors.