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Idec buys Apem for $266m to create a $500m HMI giant

12 April, 2017

The Japanese automation manufacturer Idec has bought the French HMI and switching components specialist Apem, to create one of the world’s largest producers of HMI components, panels and systems. With combined sales of more than $500m, the enlarged business will expand Idec’s European presence, and add new industry segments to its portfolio. Idec made the purchase by acquiring Apem’s parent, MMI Technologies, for 29.2 billion yen (US $266m).

“This acquisition is a major step for Idec to establish solid foundations for global growth,” says the company's president, Toshi Funaki. “It provides us with access to new customers, new markets, and greater range of products and services. Combining the two companies, we are a much bigger enterprise with a global reach.

“Together we have $500m sales, 3,500 people worldwide, sales subsidiaries in 15 countries, and factories in 10 countries,” he adds. “Thanks to the complementary product offerings, business models and geographical presence of the two companies, we expect significant synergies as we combine the two companies together.”

Apem will keep its branding, and will maintain its strategic development priorities under the leadership of the existing management team. “With the acquisition by Idec, a new page of Apem history starts,” says the company’s president, Grégory Sachnine. “Our product offerings are complementary, which creates a unique opportunity to develop further sales and new products for our existing customers and new ones.”

Apem, founded in 1952, produces components such as panel switches, joysticks, keypads and LED indicators which it uses itself to produce semi- or fully-customised HMI panels, and sells to external customers for assembly into their HMI panels. Apem has production sites in Europe, North Africa, America and Asia, operations in 11 countries, and a network of more than 130 distributors and agents in five continents, supplying more than 20,000 customers worldwide.

Presidential partners: Idec's Toshi Funaki (left) with Apem's Grégory Sachnine

Idec says that Apem’s products and markets complement its own HMI systems and other products, which include industrial controls, sensors, switches, power supplies, LED lighting, safety systems and explosion-proof equipment. It adds that the two companies share many of the same values.

Idec predicts that Apem’s historical presence in Europe will help to accelerate its growth in the EU, while its own strong position in Japan and the rest of Asia will open up new markets for Apem products, and support Apem’s existing business in Asia. Combining the sales teams in the US will provide opportunities for selling to each other’s customers.

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