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Schneider acquires analyser business; denies Rockwell rumours


Schneider Electric has acquired Applied Instrument Technologies. Simultaneously, rumours have spread that the company is planning to acquire Rockwell Automation.

Schneider Electric has officially announced its acquirement of Applied Instrument Technologies (AIT), a provider of online process analysers for the hydrocarbon, petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical and steel-making industries. This acquisition adds to Schneider’s existing process automation portfolio that includes Foxboro plant instrumentation, Foxboro and PlatStruxure PES process automation systems, Modicon PAC systems and Triconex safety systems.

Based in Upland, California, AIT has an installed base of more than 1000 systems and a breadth of spectroscopy and chromatography solutions, including a comprehensive portfolio of process analysers and associated implementation services. The company’s technology improves process optimisation, asset protection and compliance with environmental regulations, allowing customers to better manage and improve their operational profitability.

Company leaders said the addition of AIT will improve Schneider’s competitiveness and its ability to deliver broad, multi-stream, multi-component analytical systems with less project risk and execution time. Furthermore, as a single source provider, the combined offering will provide additional flexibility in terms of how the company can price, position and package its process automation solutions.

Experts from ARC Advisory Group also believe the acquisition will provide Schneider with the ability to extend its process measurement, automation and safety solutions to a broader customer base, especially in fuels blending, petrochemicals and gas processing.

The acquisition builds on a partnership established between the two companies in 2015. AIT and its offerings will be fully integrated into Schneider’s process automation business and will continue to be managed by the existing executive team. The integration will be finalised in late 2017.

Meanwhile, rumours have surfaced that Schneider is planning to acquire Rockwell Automation.

According to Bloomberg,  a US financial analyst suggested Schneider is looking to buy Rockwell in a deal that could value the company at around US$18 billion.

In a note to clients, Steve Winoker (of New York analyst Sanford C Bernstein) said Schneider was preparing an offer for Rockwell, which he declared an “extremely attractive asset” that faces a tough market in the short term.

“Our experience with Schneider suggests they can be very aggressive on the acquisition front when they want an asset,” he said.

Schneider has denied these rumours, however.

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