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November News In Brief

15 November, 2006

• The chain-maker iwis has bought another German chain specialist, Flexon, for an undisclosed sum. Flexon whose products include leaf and roller chains, employs around 100 people and has an annual turnover of some €30m. It has holding companies in the US and the UK. Iwis employs around 850 people and has sales worth €190m.

• SKF has bought the lubrication systems business of John Crane Safematic, previously part of Smiths Group`s speciality engineering division. Crane, whose headquarters are in Finland, employs around 130 and had sales last year worth around £16m. It will join SKF`s Lubrication Solutions business, alongside Vogel`s centralised and minimal quantity lubrication systems.

• An equity fund manager, the EQT Opportunity Fund, has taken a majority stake in the previously family-owned German business, Pfaff-silberblau, which specialises in actuator and materials-handling technologies. The Pfaff family will remain shareholders in the company which employs 325 people and had sales worth €64m last year.

• The bearing-maker Timken is building a new factory in Chennai, India, at a cost of around $25m. The plant, due to start production at the end of 2007, will employ about 300 people.

• International Rectifier is selling its Power Control Systems (PCS) business to Vishay Intertechnology for $290m. The business, with sales of around $300m — around 26% of IR`s total revenue — makes "non-focus" products including Mosfets, diodes, rectifiers and thyristors.

• Atlas Copco is buying a Chinese company, the Shanghai Bolaite Compressor, which makes piston compressors and oil-injected screw compressors up to 450kW. It employs 309 people and has sales worth around €14.7m.

• Schaffner, the Swiss specialist in EMC filters and components, has bought the German power quality technology supplier, Jacke Transformatoren. Schaffner claims that the deal makes it the first global supplier of EMC, power quality and energy supply systems.

• The German safety specialist Hima Paul Hildebrandt has founded a joint venture in China to produce safety-related automation systems and to support Hima`s Chinese installations. Hima (Shanghai) Safety Systems employs 60 people.

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