Tyco's three-way split is welcomed by investors

 

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The Independent Online

Tyco International, the Swiss-American conglomerate whose businesses include ADT security alarms, is splitting itself into three companies, the latest example of a trend towards corporate break-ups.

The group will be divided into a fire protection business, a security company and a flow-controls group which makes pipes and valves. The plan was welcomed by investors who added almost 3 per cent to the company's market value of $20bn (£13bn) in the first hours of trading yesterday.

It is the second time Ed Breen, Tyco's chief executive, has done the splits. Tyco also included giant healthcare and electronics businesses until these were spun off into separate publicly traded companies in 2007. Investors and investment bankers are pushing the trend towards smaller, more-focused companies, and groups as diverse as Kraft, the owner of Cadbury chocolate and Maxwell House coffee, and ConocoPhillips, the oil drilling and refining giant, have announced break-ups in recent months.

Tyco grew rapidly through acquisitions in the Eighties and Nineties, including the 1997 reverse takeover of ADT, then controlled by the Conservative party donor Lord Ashcroft. The peer was on the board until late 2002.

Tyco became a byword for boardroom excess when, in 2002, it emerged that chief executive Dennis Kozlowski and other executives had enriched themselves through unauthorised bonuses and company-funded luxuries such as art and – in the most notorious example – a $6,000 shower curtain. Kozlowski was imprisoned in 2005 for grand larceny and other offences.

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