Belden to buy Hirschmann citing Ethernet, wireless, fiber-optics allure

Belden agreed to purchase Hirschmann Automation and Control GmbH (HAC) from HgCapital, a European private investor, for approximately $260 million in cash. Belden says HAC is “a leading supplier of industrial Ethernet solutions and industrial connectivity,” citing that as a reason for the acquisition, along with HAC’s wireless and fiber-optic technologies.

03/01/2007


Belden agreed to purchase Hirschmann Automation and Control GmbH (HAC) from HgCapital, a European private investor, for approximately $260 million in cash. Belden says HAC is “a leading supplier of industrial Ethernet solutions and industrial connectivity,” citing that as a reason for the acquisition, along with HAC’s wireless and fiber-optic technologies.

Along with the purchase price, Belden will be responsible for certain obligations, including pension liabilities of approximately $60 million to be funded in future years. The companies anticipate the transaction to close in March, they said in a Jan. 30 statement. Belden expects the transaction will be accretive to 2007 earnings.

HAC products include network components for Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet; fiber-optic interfaces for fieldbus systems; and electrical connectors for actuators and sensors. HAC also provides electronic control systems for load indication and load moment limitation.

John Stroup, Belden president and chief executive officer, says “acquisition of Hirschmann is a major achievement in our pursuit to expand our business in desirable end-markets beyond cable to signal transmission solutions. In addition to having a broad portfolio of connectors for the industrial market, Hirschmann is the undisputed leader in the application of Industrial Ethernet solutions. We couldn’t be more excited to have Hirschmann as part of the Belden family.”

HAC is led by Reinhard Sitzmann, chief executive officer, who, the companies say, will continue in that role. HAC has its headquarters in Neckartenzlingen, Germany, as well as two production locations in Germany, and three manufacturing joint ventures in China. In addition to its Industrial Ethernet and connectivity product lines, HAC has a leading position in electronic control and safety systems for cranes and other load-bearing equipment. HAC had 2006 revenues of approximately $250 million and employs 750 people.

Sitzmann says HAC and Belden products and market positions are “highly complementary. Belden will be able to strengthen HAC’s market presence in North America and Asia.”

Separately, Belden is strengthening its presence in Asia with another acquisition: Hong Kong-based cable manufacturer LTK Wiring Co. Ltd. Stroup said that acquisition “better positions us to compete effectively in China.” (For more information on this acquisition, see page 20.)

www.belden.com

www.hirschmann.com





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