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Power and control specialist acquires industrial and automation leaders

December 2000 News

Schneider Electric has taken a new step in its strategy to expand in the industry by acquiring Crouzet Automatismes and Positec. This move will broaden Schneider Electric's offering for OEMs and strengthen its position with industrial customers. Crouzet Automatismes is a leader in electronic control and small automation devices, while Positec is a European leader in motion control.

As part of Schneider Electric's growth strategy, these two acquisitions will enhance the company's core line-up. The goal is to offer more solutions to the same customers while concentrating on the same type of technology.

According to ARC Advisory Group (Dedham, Massachussetts) Senior Analyst Craig Resnick, the impact of these acquisitions will be felt in the short term primarily in Europe, where 80% of all of Crouzet's sales currently take place and about 80% of all Positec's sales come from Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Additionally, Resnick says Schneider was attracted to Positec because its served market - Germany, Italy and Switzerland - is one of the fastest growing in discrete manufacturing, according to ARC projections.

Crouzet Automatismes serves the OEM market through four core businesses: electronic controls, micro switches, micro motors and pneumatic logic modules.

Crouzet's sales for 2000 are expected to reach EUR 180 million, of which 30% from France, 50% from the rest of Europe and 16% from the United States. The company has 1860 employees at seven production and development sites located in France, the US, Spain, Morocco and Mexico.

Positec primarily makes products to control the position and speed of the axes that determine a machine's kinematic performance. Its main customer base is OEMs. The motion control market covered by Positec is worth an estimated EUR 4 billion and is growing by 7,5% a year. The company has 800 employees and anticipates sales for 2000 of EUR 110 million (46% from Germany, 19% from Italy and 15% from Switzerland).

These acquisitions fit in with Schneider Electric's growth strategy, following the successful reorganisation of its automation business and expansion in speed drives with Toshiba. The new businesses should benefit from sustained growth, thanks to their synergy with the rest of Schneider Electric. Together they will slightly reduce earnings per share by 0,6% in 2001 and increase earnings per share by 0,3% in 2002. Schneider Electric in southern Africa has offices in South Africa, Kenya, Reunion, Zambia and Zimbabwe.





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