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Spectris adds Sixnet to Red Lion Controls for $72m

06 October, 2011

Spectris, the UK-based instrumentation and controls group, has bought the privately owned industrial communications specialist Sixnet for $72m. Sixnet will become part of Spectris’ US-based Red Lion Controls business and will be led by Red Lion’s president, Mike Granby.

Spectris says that Sixnet’s hardened Ethernet networking switches will complement those of Red Lion’s N-Tron subsidiary, which it bought in October 2010, while its remote automation products will complement Red Lion’s existing range. Sixnet’s cellular wireless portfolio for the machine-to-machine market represents a new area of business for Red Lion.

“The acquisition of Sixnet represents a further step in growing our strategic business segments and enables us to build our presence in the industrial controls sector,” says Spectris’ chief executive, John O’Higgins (above).

Sixnet, based near Albany, New York, employs around 110 people. It designs, builds and markets rugged remote terminal units, I/O modules, Ethernet network switches, and wireless products for the industrial and process market. The photograph below shows part of its portfolio. Most of Sixnet’s sales to date have been to the US domestic market, but Red Lion sees good opportunities to expand Sixnet’s overseas sales using its international distribution channels, particularly in China.

“The acquisition of Sixnet will enable Red Lion to provide a broader range of solutions to our customers, and expand both our global presence and our strategic business segments,” says Granby. “Sixnet’s solutions and 35 years of experience in the industrial space are a great addition to our team. Over time, we intend to share technologies within our solution portfolio which will allow us to bring even more value to our customers.”

♦  Stephen Blair, previously president of Invensys Operations Management for North America, has joined Spectris as group director for its in-line instrumentation and industrial controls activities. He will report to John O’Higgins.

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