Two of Europe’s engineering giants, robotics leader Asea AB of Sweden, and Switzerland’s Brown Boveri & Cie, which controls process control systems specialist Brown Boveri-Kent over here, yesterday announced agreement to merge their operations from next January to create a new Asea-Brown Boveri company that will be owned 50% by each of the parents, who will retain their respective stock market listings. The board will have equal representation from both sides, but Asea is seen as the driving force. Brown Boveri will propose a $510m rights issue to help finance the new company. Asea had turnover last year equivalent to $7,000m and is profitable, and Brown Boveri was marginally profitable on $8,800m turnover. Both companies are engaged in research into superconductivity.