Drives and Controls Magazine
Johnson wins the battle for Saia-Burgess
Published:  01 September, 2005

Hong Kong`s Johnson Electric looks set to take over the Swiss stepper motor specialist Saia-Burgess, following the withdrawal of the rival bidder for the company, Japan`s Sumida group. Sumida has agreed to sell its 29.4% stake in Saia-Burgess to Johnson which announced earlier this month that holders of 83.6% of Saia`s shares had accepted its takeover offer of SFr1060 (£454) per share, which values the company at SFr696m (£298m).

Johnson`s chief executive Patrick Wang said he was "very encouraged" by the result, adding that "with Johnson Electric`s established presence in global markets for micro-motors and motion systems, we will be able to generate synergies and accelerate growth for Saia-Burgess".

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and some other conditions.

At almost the same time as Johnson`s announcement, Saia-Burgess revealed that it has taken over CEI, a US-based manufacturer of DC actuators for vehicle air-conditioning systems. Saia-Burgess is paying around $21m for CEI. The acquisition will make it the US market-leader in DC and stepper actuators for automotive air-conditioning systems. CEI has a workforce of around 200 and is expected to generate sales worth some $25.7m this year.

As well as steppers and actuators, Saia-Burgess also makes switches and controllers. Its sales last year were worth SFr568.4m (£244m).