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Schneider Electric gets GET in the UK

01 September, 2006

Schneider Electric gets GET in the UK

Schneider Electric is buying the British wiring devices supplier GET Group plc, for £43.6m. The acquisition will expand Schneider`s UK market share and consolidate its position as world`s second-largest wiring devices supplier. GET, which employs almost 300 people at four UK sites, generated revenues of £81m last year, 5% of which came from outside the UK.

"Following the acquisitions of AEM SA, OVA and Merten since the beginning of the year, GET will allow Schneider Electric to further strengthen its European and worldwide position in wiring devices," says Christian Wiest, executive vice-president of Schneider`s European division. "This will provide us with strong opportunities for cross-selling and growth in the UK, in overseas markets using British Standards wiring devices, and in broader export markets for their innovative new products in home control."

GET supplies wiring products for both the commercial and domestic markets. Its Smart division offers CCTV security systems suitable for residential applications, as well as a new range of intelligent lighting controls.

Under the proposed acquisition, Schneider will pay £2.60 in cash for each GET share — a premium of about 46% on the price before the proposed takeover was announced. GET`s directors intend to recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the acquisition. Schneider has also received undertakings from the trustees of certain family trusts of the GET directors, representing about 68.3% of GET`s existing issued share capital.

"We will benefit from Schneider Electric`s leadership position in low voltage in the UK to gain increased levels of specification for GET products, especially in the commercial buildings sector," says GET group chief executive, Lance Joseph. "Schneider Electric`s global reach will give us important new channels to bring our innovative Smart offers to overseas markets and improve our penetration of export markets with our British standard wiring accessories offers."

The transaction is expected to be finalised in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Schneider Electric`s Sorhodel Bardin SAS subsidiary has acquired Napac SA, an Air Liquide subsidiary that supplies intelligent remote management systems for the infrastructure market. Napac, which employs 40 people at two sites in France, designs, builds and markets software and hardware including dedicated PLCs, SCADA software and Web interfaces. Typical applications include water networks, refrigerated warehouses, gas and fluid storage, control room management, power generation and HVAC installations. Its 2005 revenues were worth almost €6m. Schneider has also signed a multi-year contract with Air Liquide, strengthening the partnership between the two companies.

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