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Atlas Copco buys vacuum pump-maker Edwards for $1.6bn

19 August, 2013

The Swedish compressor giant Atlas Copco is buying the British vacuum pump specialist, Edwards, for up to SEK10.6bn ($1.6bn). Edwards, whose headquarters are in Crawley, UK, has more than 3,200 employees and generated revenues worth £595m in 2012, more than half of this coming from Asia.

Edwards is “a great fit for Atlas Copco,” according to the Swedish company's president and CEO, Ronnie Leten. He describes Edwards as “a technology leader with a well-developed structure and solid customer relationships in industries we know well. The vacuum solutions market is growing and has similar characteristics to our existing industrial businesses.”

Edwards has more than 90 years of experience. Its products and services are integral to processes such as manufacturing semiconductors and flat panel displays, and are used in many other industrial applications. The vacuum market is estimated to be worth more than $6bn.

Atlas Copco sees the acquisition as an opportunity to expand into a growing sector serving industries that it knows well. It adds that there are synergies between vacuum and compressed air solutions in sales, service and technology development.

Edwards’ adjusted EBITDA margin in 2012 was 19.1%, and its operating margin was 10.6%. It was formerly part of the BOC Group and was acquired by CCMP in 2007.

The acquisition is an all-cash deal using Atlas Copco’s own funds. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, when Edwards will become part of Atlas Copco’s new Vacuum Solutions division in its Compressor Technique business.

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