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Tyco International(TYC - Get Report) owns three very different businesses: ADT security, a flow control service that makes valves and pipes, and a fire protection unit. That disparity is exactly why the firm is splitting up next month, breaking apart all three businesses (in a logical move, ADT commercial will be combined with fire protection) in a decision that should ultimately unlock some value for shareholders in 2012. Investors who buy now get a piece of all three.
The biggest business unit is going to be ADT. The residential security division boasts large margins and extremely high customer stickiness (forced in part by long-term contracts for consumer companies) that helped Tyco keep its sales minimally impacted by the recession. That makes earnings risks minuscule and upside quite large, especially as the firm grows its market from security alone to additional services like home automation.
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While I expect the split-up to unlock some significant value for shareholders, it's not coming cheap. Management anticipates taking on approximately $700 million in charges related to the split, a number that's on the hefty side of similar transactions.
Still, this isn't Tyco's first rodeo. The firm has a history of successful spin-offs that provided considerable upside for investors.