World news: August 2012
Rockwell buys Chinese MV drives manufacturer for $83m
Rockwell Automation has agreed to buy the medium-voltage drives business of China’s Harbin Jiuzhou Electric Company for RMB 530m (about $83m). The acquisition will strengthen Rockwell’s presence in the Asia-Pacific motor control market, adding significant capabilities for designing, engineering and manufacturing MV drive products in the region. It will also provide access to Jiuzhou’s grid-tie inverter technology.
For the past seven years, Jiuzhou has acted as a contract manufacturer for Rockwell, as well as serving its own customers. In addition to producing MV drives, it also develops and manufactures DC power supplies, switchgear and wind power inverters.
“Jiuzhou’s MV drives business accelerates our emerging markets strategy,” says Rockwell vice-president Mike Laszkiewicz, who is general manager of its power control business. “It will enhance our position in the critical Asia-Pacific region by strengthening capabilities in the mid- and higher-power rated product lines.”
“We’re pleased to culminate our successful business relationship with Rockwell Automation,” adds Jiuzhou chairman, Dr Li Yin. “Our customers will benefit from Rockwell Automation’s advanced manufacturing, research and development capabilities, and global distribution. Our employees will now join a successful, global leader in technology that offers a competitive and comprehensive product and service portfolio in the automation industry.”
Bob Ruff, president of Rockwell’s Asia-Pacific operation, expects the Asian OEM, process and heavy industry markets to provide significant growth potential for the new acquisition. “Medium voltage drives are integral to many large automation projects,” he points out.
Rockwell currently employs more than 1,900 people in China, working at 35 sales offices, five training centres, manufacturing facilities, a global r&d centre, and a software development centre. Each year, it trains more than 6,000 Chinese students in its own laboratories and through an educational programme at more than 50 Chinese universities.
Jiuzhou’s MV business will be aligned with Rockwell’s Control Products & Solutions division. The deal is expected to close in October, 2012.