Industrial communications: Beijer Electronics acquires Westermo

Malmö, Sweden—Beijer Electronics announced today that it is acquiring Swedish company Westermo, active in industrial data communications for about $33 million (SEK 215 million, Swedish Krona) in stock. Westermo, with 148 employees, has estimated 2007 sales of approximately $34.5 million (SEK 225 million), and an operating margin before depreciation and amortization of some 10%, Beijer says.

12/20/2007


Malmö, Sweden

Beijer Electronics

announced today that it is acquiring Swedish company

Westermo

, active in industrial data communications for about $33 million (SEK 215 million, Swedish Krona)

Commenting, Göran Sigfridsson, Beijer Electronics’ CEO and president, said: “The acquisition of Westermo is a strategic milestone in the Beijer Electronics group’s continued development. Westermo’s broad product range and high organic growth complements and enhances Beijer Electronics’ automation offering for industrial and infrastructure.”

Westermo is a family business founded in 1975, described as “a niche data communications player with specialized know-how in industrial applications.” This segment has especially stringent demands for robust products in harsh environments, which require high reliability and safety, Beijer noted. Westermo products include switches, routers, fiber-optic modems, and modems for LANs and wireless communication. Westermo also manufactures at its plant in Stora Sundby, outside Eskilstuna, west of Stockholm. The company conducts marketing and sales under the Westermo brand, and has proprietary sales companies in Sweden, the U.K., Germany, France and Singapore, plus some 30 distributors worldwide. The Nordic market represents some 20% of sales, while the rest of Europe provides 70%.

At present, Westermo has an estimated global market share of some 5% for the products it sells, Beijer says, outgrowing the market, posting average yearly growth of 17% in the last 10 years. Estimated growth for 2007 is consistent with this average.

“Data communications are becoming a more important part of the automation solutions in manufaturing and infrastructure projects. That’s why we anticipate yearly growth of 15-20 % in industrial communications, and especially in the Industrial Ethernet segment, where Westermo has a strong product offering,” continued Sigfridsson, “at the same time, many customers want to deal with fewer but larger vendors of total solutions. So with the acquisition of Westermo, Beijer Electronics is sharpening its overall competitiveness.”

For the short term, the main coordination gains are in sales, Beijer says. Largely, Beijer Electronics and Westermo target the same customers with complementary products. In the slightly longer term, the coordination gains will extend to procurement, product development and production. Westermo will be an independent business area of Beijer Electronics. Its management will retain their positions, with Lars Ola Lundqvist as CEO, whose experience includes many years with ABB Robotics.

The company reportedly will be consolidated into Beijer Electronics’ accounts from Jan. 1, 2008. The acquisition will be financed with existing funds and loans and is expected to have a positive impact on Beijer Electronics’ earnings per share in 2008.

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief
Control Engineering News Desk
( Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .)





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Big plans for small nuclear reactors: Simpler, safer control designs; Smarter manufacturing; Industrial cloud; Mobile HMI; Controls convergence
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.