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Slump in small motor sales could trigger takeovers

15 September, 2009

The number of small motors sold globally will slump by 23% this year, according to a new forecast from the market analyst IMS Research, which suggests that the dramatic downturn could lead to more mergers and acquisitions in this sector.

The previous downturn, which took place towards the end of 2001, was followed by several acquisitions and mergers, IMS points out. These gave the acquiring companies access to regional markets and complimentary technologies, as well as boosting their market shares. IMS expects a similar increase in acquisition activity as we start to head out of the current downturn. Already, there have been reports suggesting that Alacatel-Lucent is planning to sell its Dunkermotoren subsidiary for around €200m.

Companies that have suffered badly in 2009 and require investment may be most vulnerable to takeover, IMS suggests. Regional suppliers – particularly those with more innovative technologies, such as brushless DC motors – may be especially attractive targets to multinationals with money to invest.

Historically, the most active players in the acquisition market have been the US and Japanese multinationals. But IMS suggests that this time, Chinese manufacturers may use the opportunity to try to break into the European or American markets through acquisitions.

Because of the growing importance of the medical sector, which currently accounts for around 19% of the small motors market, IMS expects the market to recover to pre-recession levels by early 2012

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