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SKF takes control at high-speed bearings and motors leader

27 July, 2007

SKF has boosted its presence in the magnetic bearings and high-speed motors market by buying the remaining 88% of the French company S2M, from its British owner, Edwards (formerly BOC Edwards), for around €55m. SKF already had a 12% stake in S2M, which it describes as the world leader in magnetic bearings. S2M’s annual sales are worth around €40m and it has a workforce of around 200 people.

SKF says that S2M will be complementary, both geographically and in terms of products, to its existing magnetic bearing subsidiary, the Canadian firm Revolve, which it bought in 2000. S2M has traditionally focused mainly on the European market and on applications such as vacuum pumps, air and gas compressors, and turbo expanders.

SKF president Tom Johnstone describes electromagnetically suspended bearings as "a very interesting and fast developing technology that has grown out of its development phase and is now considered a reliable alternative for some growing applications.

"We are now moving into the technologies of tomorrow," he adds, "and that is very exciting".

S2M, which will join SKF’s industrial division, and will become its centre of excellence for magnetic bearings and high-speed motors. The company, formed in 1976, had its origins in aeronautical and space research.

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