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Parker Hannifin buys SSD/Eurotherm Drives

01 July, 2005

Parker Hannifin has bought SSD Drives (formerly Eurotherm Drives), from the private equity firm Compass Partners International, for an undisclosed sum. SSD, which makes AC, DC and servo drives, and Parvex motors, will become part of Parker`s Automation group.

Parker says that the acquisition will bring complementary technologies, products and customers to its existing precision electromechanical activities. It expects the acquisition to be adding to its earnings within the first full year of integration.

"This is a strategic acquisition for Parker," says the corporation`s chairman and chief executive, Don Washkewicz. "It not only significantly increases our automation product offering, but SSD Drives` well-established footprint in Europe and presence in China also gives us a very strong position in the global electromechanical and drives market."

SSD was founded in 1974 as Shackleton System Drives, and became Eurotherm in 1992. In 2002, its management bought the company from its previous owner, Invensys, and last year it reverted to the SSD name. The company employs about 1,000 people, and has manufacturing plants in France, Germany and the US, as well as its headquarters in Littlehampton, Sussex (above). Its annual sales are currently worth about £93m, some 60% of this coming from Europe. Its DC drives activities are particularly strong in the Far East.

"The SSD Drives team is very excited about this opportunity," says the company`s chief executive, Dan Barnhouse. "We believe that by joining the Parker family, we have discovered an organisation whose values are similar to our own. The combination of vision, talents and skills from our two leading companies will ensure that together we will have all of the capabilities needed to compete successfully in serving a broad range of industrial customers around the world. This combination will create an exciting force in global automation."

"The talented SSD Drives team`s successful track record with innovative motion technology fits very well into our solutions-oriented growth model," adds Roger Sherrard, president of Parker`s automation group. "Their automation experience, combined with Parker`s existing global industrial markets, will be very complementary to our strategy."

Parker, with annual sales worth more than $8bn, claims to be the world`s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems. It employs more than 50,000 people in 46 countries, and has increased the annual dividends paid to its shareholders for 49 consecutive years.

Parker has been on a shopping spree in recent months with other acquisitions including: Herl Armaturenfabrik, a German manufacturer of industrial refrigeration valves; Domnick Hunter, the British manufacturer of filtration and purification products; Hanil Hydraulics, a Korean manufacturer of hydraulic valves; Kuiken Hytrans, a hydraulics distributor based in the Netherlands; and Mechatronic Systems, a Californian developer of high-temperature electric machines, drives and

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