With interconnect, passive and electromechanical (IP&E) component suppliers about to announce their quarterly earnings over the next few weeks, one fact is certain: several are now fatter companies thanks to a second quarter buying spree of smaller companies. Over the past quarter, major companies, including TE Connectivity, Vishay, Molex, and Bel Fuse, have snatched up smaller rivals as they seek to expand their product portfolios and become more of a “one-stop” vendor to their OEM and distributor customers.
Arguably the biggest move was made by interconnections giant TE Connectivity, which in June acquired Measurement Specialties, a Hampton, Va.-based supplier of sensors and sensor-based systems, for $1.7 billion. The deal expands TE Connectivity’s sensor portfolio beyond automotive sensors and magneto inductive industrial sensors to include pressure, vibration, force, temperature, humidity, ultrasonic, position and fluid sensors.
"The acquisition of Measurement Specialties is a key part of our strategy to be a leader in the very attractive, high-growth sensor industry and adds nearly $40 billion to our addressable market," said Tom Lynch, TE Connectivity Chairman and CEO, in a statement.
TE Connectivity also expanded its huge interconnection products portfolio, having recently completed the acquisition of the SEACON Group, which supplies connectors for underwater systems. The deal, announced in April, gives TE Connectivity a larger presence in military, oil and gas, and oceanographic applications.
Molex Active, Too
Molex Inc. (Lisle, Ill.), one of TE Connectivity’s major rivals, did not sit on the sidelines, acquiring two Italian suppliers. In May, Molex purchased the heavy-duty connector business of Westec s.r.l, an industrial connector supplier based in Milano, Italy, for undisclosed terms. Westec’s portfolio covers more than 6,000 products including junction boxes, multipole connectors, and connector assemblies for automation, robotics, and other harsh duty industrial applications.
Last month, Molex struck a deal to acquire Italian custom cable manufacturer Flamar Cavi Elettrici S.r.l. T. Flamar specializes in designing high-flex, multi-core cables -- products that are expected to expand Molex's cable offerings for process and machine control.
Broad-based components supplier Vishay Intertechnology (Malvern, Pa.) has long bolstered its vast product portfolio by gobbling up smaller companies. In June, Vishay purchased Holy Stone Polytech Co. Ltd., a Japanese manufacturer of surface-mount conductive polymer tantalum capacitors, from parent company Holy Stone Enterprise Co. Ltd., for $21 million. The move strengthens Vishay’s presence in the Far East tantalum capacitor market.
Bel Fuse Splurges
The power sector also saw activity in the second quarter, largely due to two deals by power products supplier Bel Fuse Inc. (Jersey City, N.J.). In late April, Bel Fuse announced it would purchase Power One’s Power Solutions business for $117 million in cash. Power Solutions (San Jose, CA) manufactures high‑efficiency and high‑density ac-to-dc and dc-to-dc power conversion products for server, storage and networking equipment, industrial applications and power systems.
Bel Fuse is expected to leverage Power One’s strong long-term technical presence in the power conversion market, according to Mark Coggan, North American sales director, Bel Stewart Connector, San Diego, Calif. “The merging of the product sets will create one of the broadest power portfolios in the market,” said Coogan at the time of the deal. The deal will also expand Bel’s presence in the rail and transportation markets.
In May, Bel Fuse scored a second deal, acquiring the Emerson Network Power Connectivity Solutions (ECS) business of Emerson Inc. Bel will pay approximately $98 million in cash to acquire the ECS business, which had revenue of approximately $83 million in 2013.
ECS (Bannockburn, Ill.) supplies RF/microwave and harsh environment optical connectors and assemblies for military, aerospace, wireless communications, data communications, broadcast and industrial applications. The company employs 525 people across facilities in North America, United Kingdom, and China.
Spencer Chin is site editor for the IP&E Marketplace. He has extensive experience in the high technology publication industry, including stints with NASA Tech Briefs, EE Times, EBN, and Electronic Products.