Around the Industry

Jan. 28, 2011
Eaton buys S. African industrial equipment manufacturer Eaton Corp., Cleveland, plans acquire ACTOM (Pty) Ltd.'s low-voltage electrical business in South

Eaton buys S. African industrial equipment manufacturer

Eaton Corp., Cleveland, plans acquire ACTOM (Pty) Ltd.'s low-voltage electrical business in South Africa. ACTOM's low-voltage business is a manufacturer and supplier of motor control components, engineered electrical distribution systems and uninterruptible power supply systems. Headquartered in Johannesburg, ACTOM's low-voltage business had sales of $58 million during the last twelve months. The business has 480 employees and two manufacturing facilities in South Africa.

“The acquisition of ACTOM's low-voltage business establishes a direct presence for Eaton in the attractive South African market and serves as a platform for growth in the region,” said Frank Campbell, president of Eaton's Europe, Middle East and Africa Region for the Electrical Sector. “The combination of Eaton's business with ACTOM's low-voltage business will offer a broader set of power distribution and power quality solutions that enable our customers to more effectively grow and compete in their markets.”

Rockwell reports sales up 28%, acquires S. African integrator

Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee, Wis., reported sales of approximately $1.36 billion, up 28 percent from the year-ago quarter, driven by sales growth across all regions, particularly emerging markets, the company said.

Separately, Rockwell agreed to buy Hiprom, a process control and automation systems integrator headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. The acquisition accelerates Rockwell Automation's growth in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa and further expands its work in the global mining and mineral processing market, said Hedwig Maes, president of Rockwell Automation's Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, in a Rockwell release.

Hiprom's management and its 100-person workforce will continue under Rockwell's Systems & Solutions business unit, and will gain direct access to Rockwell's products and systems. The acquisition is expected to close during the first calendar quarter of 2011, subject to the approval of regulatory authorities in South Africa.

ABB sees automation orders rise, completes Baldor buyout

ABB Ltd., the Zurich, Switzerland-based maker of power-transmission gear, said its order volume grew by at least 10 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter due to sustained demand for factory automation equipment. Earnings before interest and taxes rose by a “double-digit” percentage on single-digit growth in revenues.

Separately, ABB said its subsidiary Brock Acquisition Corp. successfully completed its cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock in industrial motor manufacturer Baldor Electric Co., Fort Smith, Ark. As reported in EM's Dec. 10, 2010, edition, the $4.2 billion acquisition makes ABB the U.S. market-share leader in industrial motors.

Cooper reports strong 4Q

Cooper Industries plc, Dublin, Ireland (with U.S. headquarters in Houston), reported core revenue growth of 14.1 percent in the fourth quarter, rising to $1.26 billion compared with $1.10 billion for the same period last year.

“We are very pleased to report record core revenue growth in the fourth quarter for the combined Electrical Segments, a result of the improving conditions in our global end-markets and the continued success of our key growth initiatives. Our core growth accelerated in the quarter, as our industrial markets remained strong, utility markets continued to improve and demand for energy-efficient lighting technologies such as LED gained additional momentum,” said Cooper chairman and CEO Kirk Hachigian.

The company's Electrical Products Group grew revenues 13.3 percent in the quarter to $583.2 million and operating earnings increased almost 4 percent to $80.4 million.

Codale Electric Supply launches energy savings campaign

Codale Electric Supply, Salt Lake City, Utah, announced the schedule for its “2011: A Year of Energy Savings” program, a year-long series of training, sales promotions and events focused on energy-saving products and technologies. The program will cover several energy-efficient product categories, including LEDs, CFLs, skylights and daylight harvesting, as well as sustainable power management equipment such as switchgear, variable-frequency-drives (VFDs), transformers, capacitors, soft starts and power monitoring.

To educate and assist their customers with key energy-saving products, Codale's year-long series will feature counter days offered at multiple branch locations that will focus on energy-saving opportunities such as taking advantage of utility incentives and using power control products to make manufacturing processes more energy-efficient.

Codale will roll out special sales promotions and offers in time with each product focus, and will end the year with a comprehensive “Energy Fair,” open to the public and planned for early November. Codale has worked on several high-profile green projects in the Intermountain Region, including the Utah Governor's Mansion, the Utah State Office Building, Energy Solutions Arena, and Spring Mobile Ball Park, and has done several major projects for Salt Lake County.