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30 May, 2024

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Fluke`s takeover of LEM gets the go-ahead
Published:  01 July, 2005

The Fluke Corporation has taken over LEM Instruments, six months after Fluke`s parent, Danaher, announced that it was buying the instrument-maker from its former owner, the Swiss-based LEM group. The delay was caused by an investigation into proposed takeover by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which finally cleared the deal in late June.

Danaher is paying around £26.9m for LEM Instruments, whose products include power quality analysers, earth testers, low-resistance ohmmeters, clampmeters and insulation testers, as well as precision current probes for the automotive market. LEM Instruments, whose headquarters are located near Liverpool, UK, employs about 325 worldwide.

The OFT launched its investigation into the proposed merger because of concerns that overlaps between Fluke`s and LEM`s ranges might affect competition in the UK market. But the OFT found little concern among the companies` customers or rivals. Of the 64 customers that the OFT contacted, just five commented on transaction and most of these said they were not concerned about the deal. Of the 27 competitors that the OFT contacted, only three responded.

Although the OFT was given inconsistent market share figures by the various parties, it concluded that the deal would have a significant impact on Fluke`s UK market shares only for two types of instrument: earth testers, where its share will rise by 5-15% to 25-35%; and clampmeters, where its share will rise by 1-10% to 30-40%.

Nevertheless, the OFT concluded that the merger will not have a significant impact on competition in the UK, citing several factors, including the large number of alternative suppliers, and the "significant buyer power" of the largest customers.

Fluke`s president, Jim Lico, describes LEM Instruments as "a tremendous complement to our growing electrical business". Jan Roetman, Fluke`s general manager for Europe, adds that "the combined product offering will enable us to bring a broader range of technical solutions and innovation to the marketplace".

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