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Schneider buys Kavlico and takes a stake in Elau

01 April, 2004

In a pair of moves designed to expand its activities in key areas, Schneider Electric has bought the Californian sensor-maker Kavlico for $195m, and taken a 46.5% stake in the German packaging controls specialist, Elau.

Schneider`s acquisition of Kavlico from Solectron is in line with its aim of expanding its activities in components for repetitive machine builders. Schneider chairman Henri Lachmann describes the deal as "a significant breakthrough for us in a growth area adjacent to our core business. The sensors market is a natural expansion of Schneider Electric`s competencies in repetitive machines and a perfect complement to the existing sensing activities of Schneider and Crouzet."

Kavlico, which employs 1,300 people and had sales worth $156m last year, focuses on four sensing technologies - ceramic, piezoresistive, differential transducers, and single-chip MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) - and produces sensors to measure variables such as pressure, position, force, level and tilt.

The company, which has factories in the US and Germany, targets high-volume OEM customers.

In the second deal, Schneider has taken a minority stake in the German company Elau which produces servomotors, controls and drives, mainly for packaging applications. One of Elau`s motors used widely in the packaging sector is shown above. The company employs 250 people and had sales worth €33m last year.

The deal will allow Schneider to increase its penetration of the packaging OEM market and to widen its range of motion controls. It will also raise its profile in the German automation market. Elau will gain better access to the global market.

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