ABB has announced two acquisitions. These are consistent with ABB’s strategy over the past few years–as well as interesting in that they land in two different parts of the portfolio of power and automation.
First was the acquisition of Epyon B.V., an early leader in electric vehicle charging infrastructure solutions focusing on direct current (DC) fast-charging stations and network charger software. I saw some electric vehicle charging at the ABB Automation and Power World. This acquisition is in line with ABB’s strategy to expand its global offering of electric vehicle infrastructure solutions.
“This acquisition gives ABB access to competitive products, key network management software, and a robust maintenance service business model, which ideally complements our own offering,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division. Founded in 2005, Epyon is headquartered in Rijswijk, Netherlands, has an R&D center in Eindhoven and sales resources across Europe. Both parties agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. Epyon’s 50 staff worldwide will join ABB when the acquisition is completed.
The growing number of electric vehicles is driving a global market opportunity for charging solutions including supporting technologies to equip the electrical grid with more sophisticated monitoring systems and software. EV charging station unit sales are expected to multiply rapidly over the next five years, and reach 1.6 million units globally by 2015, according to Pike Research.
Epyon’s DC fast-charging stations have been in commercial use since May 2010, and reduce charging time to 15 minutes compared to 6-8 hours using a standard alternating current (AC) charger outlet.
This strategic purchase follows and is line with last year’s investment in San Francisco-based ECOtality, a clean electric transportation and storage technologies company, which enabled ABB to enter North America’s electric vehicle charging market.
The second acquisition is Lorentzen & Wettre from ASSA ABLOY AB (publ) for a price of about $119 million (SEK 750 million), to strengthen its business in the pulp and paper area.
Based in the Kista district of Stockholm, Sweden, Lorentzen & Wettre manufactures equipment for quality control, process optimization and test instrumentation for the pulp and paper industry. It has production facilities in Kista and Kajaani, Finland, and sales and service offices across Europe and in Canada, China, Japan, Singapore and the United States. The company has approximately 190 employees, and will be incorporated into ABB’s Process Automation division.
“This acquisition will nicely complement our existing portfolio of pulp and paper industry offerings,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s Process Automation division. “This is an excellent strategic fit as Lorentzen & Wettre’s products and services will enable us to address the broad spectrum of pulp and paper production challenges.”
Founded in 1895, Lorentzen & Wettre has technology that contributes to improving paper quality, reducing manufacturing costs, and cutting the consumption of raw materials and energy. The company’s offering includes automated fiber and pulp analysis devices, consistency transmitters, moisture sensors, laboratory paper testing instruments, automated paper testing systems, and industry specific services.