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January News in Brief
Published:  01 January, 2011

♦  GE Intelligent Platforms has acquired the Illinois-based software company, SmartSignal, which specialises in remote monitoring and diagnostics systems used to predict and prevent equipment failures.

♦  Rockwell Automation is buying a South African systems integrator called Hiprom, based in Johannesburg. The company, with 100 employees, will expand Rockwell’s activities in the mining and mineral-processing markets.

♦  Schad, a German company that specialises in remote monitoring and control systems based on mobile phones, has received a $4.2m investment from the venture capital fund, m8 Capital. The money will be used to develop Schad’s products and to expand the company globally. Schad’s customers include Ford, Lufthansa and Volkswagen.

♦  Actuant is paying €115m for the Dutch company Mastervolt, which specialises in power electronics for energy storage, control and conditioning. Mastervolt’s sales in the past year were worth around €85m.

♦  Eriks has bought two Texan companies: Diamond Gear, which makes worm and bevel gears; and Newdell, which distributes valves and has sales worth $40m. Eriks has also acquired the assets of the Germany valves specialist, AMG Pesch, from its administrator.  

♦   Advantech is paying $3.2m to acquire another Taiwanese company, ACA Digital which produces rugged portable products such as tablet PCs and handheld devices. Its 2010 revenues are estimated to have been $3.4m.

♦   Chinese authorities are alleging that Vacon’s Chinese subsidiary has imported components with the wrong customs tariff classification and is therefore guilty of smuggling. Charges have been brought against the subsidiary, two of its employees and transport companies used by Vacon. Vacon has paid a bond of about €2.8m as security and says it wants the matter to be investigated thoroughly. Following an internal investigation, it has relieved the two employees of their duties.

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