As IP&E suppliers continue to position their businesses for stronger growth, they are acquiring other companies or shedding unprofitable operations. In this article, we will review some of the significant news in the areas of interconnects and system components.
Connector supplier Molex Inc. (Lisle, IL) made two mid-year acquisitions to flesh out its ever-expanding product portfolio. In June, the company acquired Italian cable company Flamar Cavi Elettrici S.r.l., an Italy-based cable solutions provider. Flamar, founded in 1976, carries a broad line of cable solutions for industrial automation, robotics, broadcast audio/video, and telecommunications. The company’s high-flex, multi-core cable products expand Molex's cable offerings for process and machine control.
A month earlier, Molex acquired another Italian company, Westec s.r.l, an industrial connector maker based in Milano, Italy. The Westec portfolio covers over 6,000 products including junction boxes, multipole connectors, and connector assemblies for automation, robotics, and other harsh duty industrial applications. The business will become part of Molex European Holdings BV, Molex's European subsidiary.
One of Molex’s main rivals, TE Connectivity, also moved to bolster its interconnection products portfolio. In July, the company completed the April acquisition of the Seacon Group. The Seacon Group is a leading provider of underwater connector technology and serves the military marine and sub-sea sectors for remotely operated vehicles (ROV) / autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), oil and gas, environmental and oceanographic applications.
In August, TE Connectivity acquired the business of Xiamen Delixing/Sibas, a privately-held manufacturer of heavy duty connectors used in machinery equipment, factory automation, power management and railway applications, in a move to expand its connector offerings for harsh environments. Delixing/Sibas was established in 1998 and is located in Xiamen City in South Fujian, China.
Elsewhere, interconnection component and system suppliers were in more of a retrenchment mode. In July, General Cable announced it would close several plants and eliminate 1,000 jobs, or 7% of its workforce. The restructuring is expected to realize savings of $10 million in 2014, increasing to $75 million annually starting in 2016.
General Cable, which manufactures makes copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products, cited weak global demand and pricing issues due in part to a lack of consistent momentum in utility and construction spending in North America and Latin America.
Elma Electronic, which manufactures electronic enclosures, systems, and components, announced mid-year it would fold in the operations of Elma Bustronic, which makes backplane products. The merger was expected to capitalize on the technical strengths of both companies and expedite the development of next-generation products while provide greater efficiencies and team coordination to customers.