Swiss engineering group ABB is to push ahead with plans to sell UK subsidiary ABB Building Systems, as the US division prepares to file for bankruptcy protection.
Parent company ABB Engineering said last week that it was considering filing for Chapter 11 protection because of costs incurred by asbestos claims in the USA.

Chief executive of ABB Engineering Jürgen Dormann this week confirmed that he wanted to sell the UK business. ABB Building Systems is one of the top 10 M&E engineers in the UK.

ABB and its British subsidiary were keen to emphasise that in the interim ABB Building Systems will operate as usual.

Dormann said: "The pace of the divestment activity is to be accelerated but in respect of Building Systems is not likely to occur until 2003. Until this time ABB Building Systems will remain an important and fully supported member of the ABB family."

ABB Building Systems remains a fully supported member of ABB

Jürgen Dormann, chief executive, ABB Engineering

A statement from ABB Building Systems UK this week said recent contract wins "signify ABB Building Systems' determination to maintain its position as a UK leader in building systems and services".

The ABB group this week revealed that pre-tax profit was down 44% to £243m for the nine months to September, from £436m for the same period last year.

It was revealed in August that ABB Building Systems UK would be sold as part of an offloading of ABB's building systems arms around the world.