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Pepperl+Fuchs buys Siemens` proximity sensor business

03 March, 2010

The German sensor manufacturer Pepperl+Fuchs has acquired Siemens’ proximity sensor business for an undisclosed sum. The deal will enlarge P+F’s product portfolio in the field of inductive proximity sensors and photoelectric sensors, as well as strengthening its position in the ultrasonic sensing market.

Siemens announced last September that it was looking for a buyer for its proximity switches operation, saying that the business had too few synergies with its other activities and that its market share was too small. The business, which is part of Siemens’ industry automation division, employs around 150 people, including 80 in the Czech Republic, 40 in France and about 30 in Germany.

There will be an “integration period” until mid-2010, during which the companies will prepare to transfer the business. During this period, Siemens will continue to accept orders for the proximity sensors. At the end of the integration period, Pepperl+Fuchs will start to supply the sensors. The companies guarantee that there will be no disruption to supplies.

Outlining Pepperl+Fuchs’ reasons for the acquisition, its chief executive Dr Gunther Kegel, said: “We wish to benefit from the technological spectrum, the highly qualified personnel, and the strong market position of Siemens – above all, in the field of ultrasonic sensors – to become even more competitive and profitable.”

According to Hans-Georg Kumpfmüller, CEO of Siemens’ sensors and communications business, P+F “offers the best foundations for further developing our present business of binary production sensor technology”.

In 2009, Pepperl+Fuchs had 3,750 employees worldwide and generated sales worth €300m. Its product portfolio includes magnetic, inductive, capacitive, photoelectric and ultrasonic sensors, as well as vision sensors and industrial vision systems. The family-owned business also operates in the RFID field and produces AS-i interfaces. In recent years, it has developed a range of communication components for fieldbuses.

Pepperl+Fuchs also claims to lead the intrinsically safe explosion protection market. It recently acquired the UK hazardous areas specialist, Walsall.

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