ABB Ltd (ABB - Get Report)  said Tuesday that it will buy Bernecker + Rainer Industrie-Elektronik GmbH  (BR - Get Report) , an Austrian group which designs factory automation technology, for an undisclosed sum that could be the Swiss firm's biggest acquisition in more than five years.

ABB said B&R's current annual revenue is around $600 million, a figure it wants to lift to around $1 billion in the near term. The Swiss engineering group said it would fund the purchase in cash and expects the deal to be accretive to earnings in the second half of 2018, one year after the transaction is expected to close.

READ MORE: ABB Buys Austria's B&R In Industrial Automation Play