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ABB buys Entrelec for €310m

01 May, 2001

ABB is buying Entrelec, the French supplier of industrial automation and control products, for €310m (£193m). ABB`s aim is to expand its product portfolio and to reinforce its position in key European and North American markets.

"Entrelec`s technology, product scope and channels to market complement ours extremely well with few overlaps," says Jouko Karvinen, ABB executive vice-president and head of its automation technology products division. "We will now bring together two very strong product lines and two global customer networks which, we believe, will provide growth as well as significant economies of scale in, for example, R&D, marketing, sales and logistics."

Karvinen reports that one reason for the friendly bid was the demand by wholesalers of low-voltage products for their suppliers to provide a complete array of products. ABB will now be able to offer a much wider range of LV equipment.

ABB president and chief executive Jörgen Centerman, says that the acquisition is "a very effective strategic fit for both companies" and predicts that it "will open up significant growth opportunities, creating a broader product offering and a stronger presence in some important markets".

Sometimes described as "a little Legrand", Lyon-based Entrelec has four main lines of business: industrial connectors (representing 53% of its business); electronic modules, such as data converters and surge protectors (23%); automation devices, including PLCs, contactors, timers, safety systems and power supplies (18%); and domestic wiring accessories (6%). It employs around 2,000 people in 17 countries and is expected to produce sales this year of about €220m (£137m).

Entrelec`s UK base is in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. Last year it bought the Essex-based motor control specialist MTE.

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