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Sell-off splits Alstom Automation between Bayside and MBO

01 June, 2000

Alstom has split its Automation division into two to sell it off. The European part of the operation has been bought by a management team, while the North American business has been bought by the Bayside Motion Group.

Alstom says that the sell-off is in line with its strategy of disposing of businesses which it does not regard as being core to its operations. The Automation activity supplies materials-handling systems, ranging from single machines to turnkey plants, principally to the airport, power, defence, and automated assembly sectors. It does not include Alstom`s drives business.

The European business, which employs around 950 people in the UK, France and Spain, has been bought by management team, backed by the Gresham Trust which is taking a majority stake in the business. The business has annual sales of some €200m.

The UK sites affected are in Whetstone and Winnersh.

The North American operation, with a staff of 125 and sales of some $35m, has been renamed Bayside Automation. The business, originally part of Westinghouse, focuses on robotics, motion control, and software developments for automated assembly applications.

Bayside president Howard Lind sees the acquisition as "a natural extension of Bayside`s leadership in precision motion systems and components". He adds that Alstom`s engineering and process capabilities "fit perfectly with our motion control products and will enhance our strategy of developing automated, distributed control platforms that will be a cornerstone of our concept of the Factory of the Future".

"Using our wireless linear motor technology, integrated smart gearmotors and ultra-precision stage products, Alstom`s engineers will produce substantially more reliable assembly lines that will operate at accelerated speeds while subject to rigorous vision-based quality control," Lind predicts.

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