24 Jul 2024


Regal Beloit sells its drives businesses to Sun Capital

Regal Beloit's drives portfolio includes the Unico brand, which it acquired in 2010.

Regal Beloit is selling its engineered drives and control systems businesses to Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm specialising in leveraged buyouts and investments. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

With estimated revenues for 2018 of $131m, Regal Drive Technologies has 450 employees around the world. It designs and manufactures engineered controls, starters and drives, with brands that include Benshaw (which Regal acquired in 2014), Leeson Speedmaster and Unico.

“This transaction is consistent with our enterprise strategy to focus, innovate and simplify,” says Regal Beloit’s chairman and CEO, Mark Gliebe. “We believe it will allow us to put more focus on our core businesses.”

The engineered drives business, founded in 1967, develops and manufactures variable-frequency drive (VFD) systems and other motor control systems, focusing on application-specific products.

The control systems business, founded in 1983, designs and builds low- and medium-voltage starters, VFD systems and motor control products for critical applications in harsh environments.

“The acquired motor control solutions platform is a great fit in our portfolio, and in line with Sun Capital’s experience investing in both corporate carve-outs and industrial companies,” says Sun Capital’s co-CEO, Marc Leder. “We see enormous potential in these businesses, and will provide the support and resources needed to grow them into a successful, stand-alone company.”

The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

Regal Beloit, which achieved revenues of $3.4bn 2017, manufactures electric motors, motion controls, power generation and power transmission products. It has three operating segments: Commercial and Industrial Systems; Climate Solutions; and Power Transmission Solutions.

Regal’s origins were in the production of metal-cutting tools and gearboxes. It began life as Beloit Tool in 1955 in Beloit, Wisconsin, where it still has its headquarters.

Since 1955, it has made more than 70 acquisitions, expanding into the power transmission, electric motor, generator and electronic controls sectors. Its transformation into a global manufacturer of motors began with the 2004 and 2005 acquisitions of GE’s Commercial AC and HVAC motor businesses, which had combined revenues of more than $600m.

In 2011 and 2015, Regal made its biggest acquisitions, with the purchases of A.O. Smith’s Electrical Products Company (EPC) and Emerson’s Power Transmission Solutions (PTS) business. By the end of 2015, the company’s total sales were $3.5bn.

Since 1995, Sun Capital has invested in more than 365 companies worldwide with revenues of approximately $50bn across a broad range of sectors. Its industrial investments include the metering company, Aclara, the valve producer, Critical Flow, and the thermal, flow, and control management products specialist, Robertshaw.

Sun Capital has offices in Boca Raton, Los Angeles and New York, and affiliates in London and Shenzhen.