2014 saw its share of consolidation activity among passive, power, and electromechanical component suppliers, with larger companies seeking to expand their product portfolios to offer a broader line of parts and enable them to be more of a “one-stop” supplier to the customers.
Perhaps the loudest noise was made by TE Connectivity, known more as a broad-based supplier of interconnection products. The company bolstered its expanding sensor line by purchasing Measurement Specialties for $1.7 billion, in June. Measurement Specialties carries a broad range of sensors including pressure, vibration, force, temperature, humidity, ultrasonic, position and fluid, for end markets include aerospace and military, consumer goods, engine and vehicle, and medical. Prior to the acquisition, TE Connectivity’s sensor line primarily centered around automotive sensors and magneto inductive industrial sensors for non-contact detection of mechanical parameters.
“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," stated Tom Lynch, TE Connectivity Chairman and CEO, at the time of the acquisition.
TE Connectivity further bolstered its sensor portfolio in September by purchasing American Sensor Technologies, Inc. (AST), a Mount Olive, NJ, manufacturer of pressure and position sensing solutions with 2013 revenues of approximately $20 million. AST specializes in manufacturing products incorporating their proprietary technologies for use in high performance, harsh and extreme environments such as high corrosion, high and low temperatures, and toxic and hazardous materials settings.
Another major acquisition was in October, when global adhesive materials company Henkel (Düsseldorf , Germany) agreed to acquire The Bergquist Company, a privately-held leading supplier of thermal-management solutions. Bergquist’s products include Thermal Interface Materials (TIM) such as Gap Pad® products and liquid gap fillers for electronic systems, Insulated Metal Substrates (IMS®) and others. These high-performance thermal-management solutions are critical components and key enablers for new developments in hybrid and electric cars and industrial electronics such as high-power LEDs where heat dissipation is important. The acquisition significantly expanded Henkel’s adhesives business, which includes adhesives, sealants, and functional coatings.
Bel Fuse Inc. (Jersey City, NJ), made big news in the power market in late April when it announced the acquisition of the Power-One Power Solutions business of ABB Ltd. for approximately $117 million in cash. Power Solutions, based in San Jose, Calif., manufactures high‑efficiency and high‑density power conversion products for server, storage and networking equipment, industrial applications and power systems. It has manufacturing facilities in Slovakia and China.
Daniel Bernstein, Bel’s President and CEO (see photo) stated at the time “The acquisition of Power Solutions is a major step forward in the development of Bel’s power business and the implementation of our strategy to enhance growth and profitability for our shareholders. Since 2009, we have believed that the combination of our two respective power businesses would create a dynamic enterprise capable of competing effectively on a global basis.”
Bel made an additional move several weeks later in May when it agreed to acquire the Emerson Network Power Connectivity Solutions (ECS) business of Emerson Inc., for $98 million in cash. ECS, headquartered in Bannockburn, provides high‑performance RF/Microwave and harsh environment optical connectors and assemblies for military, aerospace, wireless communications, data communications, broadcast and industrial applications.
In the passives market, Vishay Intertechnology Corp. (Malvern, PA) expanded its tantalum capacitor offerings by acquiring Japanese capacitor maker Holy Stone Polytech Co. Ltd. from Holy Stone Enterprise Co. Ltd. for $21 million. Holy Stone Polytech Co. Ltd. was established in January 2010 as a manufacturer of surface-mount conductive polymer tantalum capacitors. Its parent company, based in Taipei, Taiwan, is known primarily for manufacturing applications-specific ceramic capacitors.