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March News In Brief

15 March, 2007

º  Last year, the Finnish drives-maker Vacon raised its order intake by 26% to €197.4m, its revenues by 24.3% to €186.4m, and its operating profits by 27.6% to €23.1m. The company estimates that, during the year, the global AC drives market which it serves grew by 7–9%. It adds that demand is still strong and predicts another "positive" year in 2007.

º  SKF is buying the Taiwanese manufacturer of profile rail guides, ABBA Linear Tech. The company, which employs around 400 people in Taiwan and China, has a turnover of around £18m.

º  Ametek Pittman has signed a deal with Avnet Electronics Marketing to act as global distributor for all of its Pittman-brand products, including brushed and electronically-commutated DC motors, AC motors, stepper motors, and digital linear actuators. Ametek acquired the Pittman and MAE brands when it bought PennEngineering Motion Technologies for $62m last May.

º  The European Commission has given Schneider Electric the go-ahead to proceed with its planned $6.1bn acquisition of the UPS supplier, APC, on condition that it sells its MGE UPS Systems business for UPSs below 10kVA. The MGE business, with sales of around €150m, represents 6% of the combined APC and MGE activities. Figures released recently show that Schneider’s global sales grew 18% last year, while its operating profit soared by 28%. Its organic growth rate was 10.7%.

º  Siemens Automation and Drives is buying a majority stake in the Czech low-voltage and distribution technology supplier, OEZ. The company, which employs 1,300 people and had sales worth €41m in 2005, is the market leader in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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