August 20, 2013

Engineering company acquires technology firm for $1.6 billion

Sweden-based Atlas Copco, an engineering firm, announced that it will acquire Edwards Group for $1.6 billion. Edwards is a British industrial technology company that specializes in vacuum pumps used in the chemical and pharmaceuticals industries. The technology acquisition is expected to help Atlas' position in the mining industry, which as a sector has become more tumultuous over the years. 

"Edwards is a technology leader with a well-developed structure and solid customer relationships in industries we know well. It is a great fit for Atlas Copco," Atlas president and CEO Ronnie Leten said in a company statement. "The vacuum solutions market is growing and has similar characteristics to our existing industrial businesses."

Leten added that his company "recognizes the strength Edwards has in its people and products as well as [its] excellence in technology and innovation."

Specifically, Edwards designs vacuum products and abatement systems that create controlled, low-pressure, particle-free environments that can benefit semiconductors and improve solar-energy equipment. In the Atlas statement, the company explained that these technologies will be greatly beneficial, as there are several synergies between vacuum and compressed air solutions in sales, service and technology development.

Edwards CEO Jim Gentilcore explained in a statement that the technology acquisition will provide many opportunities for Edwards customers and employees. Both firms have similar strategic goals, strong brands and leading market positions, he said. Gentilcore added that his company's brand and reputation will flourish with the expertise and financial strength from Atlas.

A comprehensive acquisition strategy can often benefit both businesses that are involved in the proposed M&A activity. When each company can maintain its goals, it is also likely to keep all customers satisfied as well.