Drives and Controls Magazine
Wood Group pushes into automation by buying CEC for $59m
Published:  25 May, 2017

The Scottish-based Wood Group has pushed further into the industrial automation and controls sector by buying CEC Controls, a US designer and builder of industrial and process control systems, mainly for the automotive industry. Wood is paying of $44m in cash, with a further deferred consideration of $15m payable over the next three years.

Established in 1966, CEC Controls is headquartered near Detroit, and its clients include Ford, GM and Fiat-Chrysler. It employs more than 220 people in 12 North American offices and an office in Romania. It has gross assets of $34m and generated an EBITA of $9.6m in 2016. The business will continue to be led by its existing management team.

The CEC deal follows Woods’ acquisition in 2015 of the Automated Technology Group (ATG), one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of control and power systems for industrial automation, with more than 400 employees. CEC will work closely with ATG.

“CEC Controls significantly complements and strengthens the innovative technical solutions we provide to clients within automation and control,” says Wood Group’s CEO, Robin Watson. “The acquisition supports the geographical broadening of our footprint within the automotive sector, particularly in the US, deepening our presence in the key automotive hub of Detroit.

“It also provides us the opportunity to further enhance the industrial process and control capabilities we offer to this industry and adjacent sectors including aerospace, logistics, water, and pharmaceuticals.”

Watson: CEC acquisition broadens our footprint

In a letter to his customers and suppliers, CEC Controls’ president Robert Scheper explains that as his company had grown, it had become “apparent we needed a partner to move forward at a better and more capable pace”. He adds that he “very excited to be joining the Wood Group and the new opportunities it will bring”. Working with ATG, he continues, “we will be able to greatly expand our current offerings within the automotive sector, and with Woods Group’s global strength in the process industry, we will be able to expand in those areas as well.

“We believe our extensive expertise in the automotive manufacturing industry, married with Wood Group’s two decades of experience in automation and control, creates a powerful solution-driven service offering for clients,” says Scheper.