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Parker buys Legris, Origa and Hargraves, adding $500m to sales

05 October, 2008

Parker Hannifin has acquired three pneumatics and actuator companies – Legris, Origa and Hargraves Technology – whose total sales approach $500m. Parker says the acquisitions reflect its goal of diversifying its operations internationally, extending and complementing its existing technologies, and taking advantage of opportunities in less cyclical end-markets, such as life sciences. It adds that it is "remaining focused on executing its plans for growth throughout the current economic turbulence".


"We continue to maintain our long-term focus on growth and positioning Parker for sustained financial performance," says Parker’s president and chief executive, Don Washkewicz. The acquisitions "bring us new technologies and market opportunities," he adds. "They also signal an ongoing commitment to our growth strategy, managing our assets conservatively, and making appropriate use of strong cash flows."

The largest of the acquisitions is Legris, headquartered in Rennes, France, which manufactures fluid circuit components and systems for pneumatic, hydraulic, and chemical processing applications. Its 2007 revenues were worth €233m. It has around 1,800 employees and ten production plants.

"Legris enhances Parker’s worldwide presence in the pneumatic and hydraulic fluid circuit systems market while significantly bolstering our European presence," says Bob Bond, president of Parker’s fluid connectors group. "Legris’ strong brand recognition and innovative products and systems are widely available through a well-established distribution network, and complement our ability to provide customers with the industry’s broadest package of fluid circuit technology."

Parker is buying Legris from Groupe Legris Industries which plans to focus on its industrial equipment and turnkey plant engineering activities. These include: its Savoye warehousing and distribution logistics operation; Keyria, which makes building materials; and Clextral, which is involved in food processing and specialty chemicals. Together, these activities represent about two-thirds of Legris group sales.

Parker is buying the Origa brand and the industrial pneumatics division from the Swiss Hoerbiger group, which will now focus on its automotive and mechanical engineering businesses.

Origa makes rodless pneumatic actuators, electric actuators, pneumatic cylinders, and valves. Its most recently reported annual sales were worth around €67m and it employs around 350 people. Origa’s main operations are in Germany, Austria and the US, and it has several smaller facilities in other locations.

"We’re excited about the opportunities this combination offers for Parker," says Roger Sherrard, president of Parker’s Automation Group. "Origa is a respected manufacturer and their world-class rodless actuator line strengthens the depth and breadth of our global product portfolio. The Origa brand is well known, particularly in European markets that offer growth opportunities for Parker."

Origa was originally a Swedish company which invented the rodless pneumatic cylinder, and patented it in 1971. Hoerbiger acquired Origa in 1992 and integrated it into its automation technology business. In 1996, it introduced the Origa System Plus modular drive system (below), which allows users to choose between rodless pneumatic cylinders or electric drives with toothed belts, ballscrews or trapezoidal screws.

There is already a new Web presence at


The smallest of Parker’s trio of acquisitions is the US-based Hargraves Technology Corporation, which makes miniature liquid and pneumatic diaphragm pumps, control valves and systems. These products are used to control movement and to direct precise amounts of fluid in medical devices and life science analytical instrumentation as well as diagnostic, gas detection, and printing systems. Hargraves’ sales last year were worth around $14m.

 "Hargraves’ products extend Parker’s position as a fluidics provider to the life science and medical markets," Sherrard explains. "These products complement our existing capabilities and will strengthen our customer relationships through a broader offering and the ability to provide integrated solutions."

Parker has created a Precision Fluidics division that will combine Hargraves’ operations with its own diaphragm pump, miniature solenoid and proportional valve, electronic pressure control, liquid and aggressive media valve, and system integration activities. The new division will focus on the global medical, analytical, life sciences and printing markets.

"There are many synergies between Parker and Hargraves Technology which date back to the acquisition of Pneutronics, which my late husband, Don Hargraves, founded," says Hargraves’ chair and CEO, Linnea Hargraves. "We believe that Hargraves’ innovative products and people will be an excellent fit within Parker and Parker`s global scope will enable our products to serve a wider market."

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