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Chinese motors giant buys GE small motors business for $160m

04 July, 2018

China’s largest electric motor manufacturer, Wolong Electric, has bought GE’s Small Industrial Motors (SIM) business for $160m in cash. The deal covers the design, development, manufacturing and sales of low-voltage and TEFC (totally enclosed fan-cooled) medium-voltage motors up to 1,750hp (1.3MW), as well as an agreement that will allow Wolong to sell SIM products carrying the GE brand in the American market for ten years.

Wolong is setting up a SIM headquarters operation in Houston, Texas, led by the business’ current management. This will become Wolong’s North American business centre, supplying GE-branded LV and MV motors to the global market.

The assets that Wolong has acquired include General Electric Industrial Motors Mexico and the General Electric Motor Services Corporation.

Wolong says that GE SIM will become a pivotal part of its global business. It adds that it will continue to invest in the brand in areas such as digitalisation, and to develop new products. It plans to expand SIM’s sales channels in China and Europe.

Wolong Electric is part of Wolong Holding Group, which is one of China’s 500 largest businesses, employing more than 18,000 people globally and achieving revenues of $5.4bn in 2017.

Wolong's acquisition of GE's SIM motors business was finalised at a recent ceremony

In recent years, Wolong has been expanding globally through a series of acquisitions, including Austria’s ATB group, which it bought for €100m in 2011, acquiring the Brook Crompton, Schorch, Laurence Scott and Morley brands in the process. In 2014, it bought the Italian SIR Robotics business, followed in 2017 by an 80% stake in the world’s biggest manufacturer of vibration motors, Italy’s OLI, for $61m.

In 2015, Wolong bought another Chinese company, Nanyang Explosion-proof Motor. It is planning to set up a global research and development centre in Shanghai.

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