Less than two weeks after Eaton Corp. announced it would acquire Cooper Industries, a leader in electric grid gear, the large industrial manufacturer has added another company into its stable.
Eaton announced on Friday that it will acquire Gycom, a low-voltage power distribution, controls and automation company that operates in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. From 2005 to 2007, Gycom had acquired Moeller Electric's companies in the three countries, which will now be acquired by Eaton. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Whatever the figure, it is far smaller than the $11.8 billion Cooper deal, which is one of the largest M&A deals in smart grid this year.
The deal with Cooper catapulted Eaton into the ranking of the sixth largest company in terms of smart grid-related revenues, putting it alongside grid and power giants like Siemens, Schneider, Alstom and ABB/Ventyx. Gycom’s low-voltage power distribution, control and automation business had sales of approximately $24 million in 2011.
With the Gycom acquisition, Cleveland, Ohio-based Eaton can expand its presence in Scandinavia. “Gycom has established strong relationships with key customers in the region,” Frank Campbell, Eaton president, Europe, Middle East and Africa Region for the Electrical Sector, said in a statement. “This acquisition is an effective way to expand our presence in the Nordic region.” The company had no comment about how the Gycom acquisition fit into the Cooper deal.
This may not be the last acquisition for Eaton this year, and it will certainly not be the last in smart grid. Other companies, like ABB, GE and Schneider, have been actively bulking up their end-to-end smart grid offerings in recent years and will continue to do so in 2012, especially as the distribution automation market potential expands in the near future.
Here’s more about Eaton and its market potential from Greentech Media editor Jeff St. John as it relates to the company's recent Cooper acquisition:
Cleveland, Ohio-based Eaton reported 2011 sales of $16 billion globally, and its portfolio includes data center and building controls, vehicle drivetrains, power distribution and control gear and hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use. It's a major player in plug-in vehicle charging, where it faces a familiar set of competitors like Siemens, Schneider, GE and ABB.
On the smart grid side, it has everything from substation and distribution automation turnkey systems to its smart home and smart building products and services, which put it in competition with the likes of Honeywell and Johnson Controls. Cooper offers Eaton “diversified component brands, global reach and international distribution” to expand its reach, Cutler said in Monday’s announcement.
The two expected the deal to increase operating earnings by share by 35 cents in 2014 and 45 cents in 2015, as well as to create about $535 million in “annual synergies” by 2016 via business consolidation. Shares of Cooper (CBE) had jumped 26 percent to $70.39 in Monday morning trading, while Eaton (ETN) shares were up slightly, less than 1 percent.
Of course, any measure of Eaton and Cooper's new clout in the market should be judged against the future acquisitions amongst its chief competitors. ABB has earmarked $9 billion to $18 billion for acquisitions over the next five years, and most recently bought North American power equipment giant Thomas & Betts for $3.9 billion. GE and Schneider have spent billions on acquisitions, and Siemens has upped its ante with its purchase of eMeter in December and RuggedCom in February.