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Nidec pushes into industrial motors by buying Ansaldo for up to $500m
Published:  12 April, 2012

Nidec, the acquisitive Japanese motor producer, is buying the Italian motors and drives manufacturer, Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali (ASI), for a reported cash sum of ¥30–40bn ($370–500m). Ansaldo, which employs more than 1,200 people, has its headquarters in Milan and last year recorded sales worth €292m.

ASI’s product portfolio includes large industrial motors and generators (shown above), low and medium voltage drives, and automation systems. Founded in 1853, ASI has four sites in Italy, as well as operations in France and Russia. Nidec is buying the business from its Dutch private equityl owner, HVEASI Holding, which is affiliated with US-based Patriarch Partners.

ASI will join Nidec Motor Corporation (NMC), which is based on the former Emerson Electric Motors & Controls business that Nidec acquired in 2010 and is spearheading its push into the industrial motors market.

Nidec hopes that the ASI acquisition will accelerate NMC’s global expansion by adding sales in markets where it currently does not do significant business, such as Europe, China, India, Russia and the Middle East. In the short term, it plans to boost sales by sharing NMC’s and ASI’s brands and business relationships. In the medium term, it wants to develop new customers and markets.

The deal will also allow NMC to offer a wider range of products that are currently not in its industrial motor portfolio, such as high power (3.73–35MW) industrial motors, low and medium voltage drives (shown below during assembly), and industrial and automation systems. This will lay the foundations for NMC to position itself as a supplier offering a full range of industrial motor products.

In addition, the transaction will provide NMC with opportunities to sell its products into new industry segments as it seeks to expand outside its current core markets such as water and wastewater, into areas such as metals, energy, and oil and gas, where ASI has strong market positions.

Since 1984, Nidec has made more than 30 acquisitions including Valeo’s French motor and actuator activities (for €165m in 2006), Italy’s Sole Motors (in 2010), and the Sanyo Seimitso precision motors business (for $83m in 2010). Nidec’s chief executive has also expressed an interest in buying the motor divisions of GE in the US and Bosch in Germany.

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