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Schneider buys Elin to target high-power drives sector

01 July, 2006

Schneider Electric is buying VA Tech Elin EBG Elektronik, the Austrian manufacturer of high-power drives. The acquisition builds on a long-standing partnership between the two companies and on the joint venture created in 2004 between Elin and Schneider Toshiba Inverter (STI) - itself a joint venture between Schneider and the Japanese manufacturer, Toshiba.

Schneider says that the new acquisition will strengthen its position in the expanding market for drives rated above 75kW. Elin`s portfolio, sold under the pDrive name, spans inverters with ratings from 400W-1.5MW. Last year, the company`s 114 employees generated sales worth €34m. Austria and Germany are the company`s main markets.

According to Michel Crochon, executive vice-president of Schneider`s automation business, Elin will provide "a perfect addition" to its product lineup. Schneider expects the acquisition to meet its return-on-capital-employed criteria within three years of the deal being completed.

In 2004, STI and Elin set up the 60:40 joint venture, STI Elin Inverter GmbH, to develop and manufacture high-power, general-purpose variable speed drives, with ratings above 90kW.

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