Drives & Controls April 2024

n NEWS April 2024 6 THE JAPANESE MOTOR-MAKER Nidec and the US private equity rm KPS Capital Partners are reported to be in a bidding battle to acquire Innomotics, the business that Siemens set up last year to spin o€ its motors and large drives activities. According to Bloomberg News, the bidders have been asked to make second-round bids for the business, which has sales worth €3bn and could fetch a similar sum if sold. Innomotics brings together former Siemens activities in the areas of low- to high-voltage motors, geared motors, medium-voltage converters and motor spindles, as well as associated project and service o€erings from Siemens Large Drives Applications (LDA) and Digital Industries businesses, as well as the separately managed Siemens-owned companies Sykatec and Weiss Spindeltechnologie. It employs around 15,000 globally and is currently being run as a separately managed Siemens subsidiary. In a recent examination of potential suitors for Innomotics, Interact Analysis named ABB, WEG, Wolong, Danfoss and Nidec as possible buyers. It pointed out that Nidec, the world’s fourth-largest motor manufacturer, has a history of making acquisitions – it has made 73 acquisitions in its 50year history, including Emerson Electric’s motors and drives business, which it bought for $1.2bn in 2016. If Nidec did buy Innomotics, it would probably be its largest acquisition to date. Interact pointed out that Nidec currently has market share of less than 10% in the EMEA region, giving it a potential anti-trust advantage if it wants to make a purchase in the EU. The analysis added that acquiring Innomotics would give Nidec access to a similar motor range to its own, potentially facilitating integration of the two businesses. Interact said that Nidec’s EMEA revenues would bene t “heavily” from such an acquisition, because Innomotics is the regional market-leader. This could deliver similar revenues to Nidec in the EMEA region to those generated by its Americas division. On the other hand, motors constitute just a fraction of Nidec’s total business, prompting the question of whether Nidec views the motor sector as a strategic priority for signi cant investment. Nidec’s motors business lost market share in 2022. Nidec and KPS ‘in bidding battle’ for Siemens’ Innomotics biz p The Chinese motor-maker Moons Industries has set up a UK subsidiary in Reading, Berkshire. Moons, founded in 1994, claims to be one of the world’s three largest manufacturers of stepper motors and ships more than 30 million motors every year, including 10 million hybrid steppers. Russell Cleasby has been appointed general manager of Moons’ Industries (UK), joining from Ametek where he was UK sales manager. pSiemens is investing £100m in a centre of manufacturing excellence for the rail sector, in Chippenham, Wiltshire, replacing its existing factory in the town. The centre, which is expected to be operational by 2026, will employ more than 800 people building the next generation of rail signalling and control systems. p The two main causes of downtime in UK manufacturing in 2023 were spares availability and lead time issues, according to a survey by the Institute of Engineering & Technology and the industrial services provider, Eriks. It found that UK manufacturers write oŒ millions of pounds of MRO stock each year and that stockpiling – in reaction to Brexit, Covid and the Ukraine war – has resulted in them tying up cash in inventory and writing the investments oŒ as products age or go unused. The survey also found that some engineers set up“squirrel stores”with private stocks of MRO equipment, indicating a lack of trust in stores and purchasing teams. c4cmqotd p Welshpool-based Invertek Drives achieved a record turnover of £96.5m in 2023 – up from £76.3m the previous year. The Americas is the company's biggest market, with Invertek Drives USA generating a turnover of more than £24m in 2023. Sumitomo Heavy Industries acquired Invertek Drives in 2019. pMatara UK, the automation, pneumatics and linear motion specialist, has increased the size of its aluminium extrusion frame department nearly ten-fold, following an extension to its premises in Tewkesbury, which it will share with its parent, Rubix. Matara has taken over adjoining premises, adding 280m2 of ›oor space. The improved work›ows will reduce lead times for customers. NEWS BRIEFS THE BRITISH ELECTRIC MOTOR developer and manufacturer, Saietta, has entered administration after failing to nd a buyer for a production line in Sunderland after a deal to manufacture electrical steering pumps there under contract fell through. Most of the company’s employees have been made redundant. Saietta Group employed around 54 people, mainly at its headquarters in Silverstone, with a further 33 employees at the former ZF Automotive plant in Houghton-leSpring, Sunderland, which it acquired in 2022. Saietta specialised in axial-¥ux motors and in the design, development and supply of powertrains for electric vehicles, scooters, buses and marine applications. In February, the company said it was undertaking a strategic review, including a potential sale process, as cash began to run out. On 4 March, Lucy Winterborne and Daniel Hurd from EY were appointed joint administrators. Saietta chairman Tony Gott said that while there had been “genuine interest … we do not have a proposal that provides the necessary liquidity in the time we have available, following the company's commercial update of February 13 and the subsequent market reaction. Despite all other aspects of the business remaining in progress, and following major restructuring throughout the business over the last 12 months, we were unable to provide the capital required, on a timely basis, to complete the journey to bring the group to a self- nancing position.” UK motor-maker Saietta enters administration Attracting bidders: part of Innomotics product range