Schneider Electric to Acquire Asco Power Technologies For $1.25 Billion -- Update

By William Horobin and Nick Kostov Features Dow Jones Newswires

Power-equipment supplier Schneider Electric (SU.FR) will buy automatic transfer switch maker Asco Power Technologies for $1.25 billion, opening up U.S. markets for the French company supplying critical buildings like hospitals and data centers.

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Schneider Electric had stepped back from making major acquisitions since buying industrial automation and software business Invensys PLC in 2013. But the company is seeking to bolster its position in switch technologies across geographies.

"This is a big bolt-on acquisition that fits into Schneider's range," Schneider Electric chief executive Jean-Pascal Tricoire said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Schneider Electric already produces the Automatic Transfer Switches, which shift between multiple power sources including security back-ups and renewable sources, for other markets. The switches made by Asco Power Technologies are specific to regulations and power voltages in the U.S.

"Asco brings to Schneider Electric a well-recognized brand in North America, a strong level of know-how, prescription skills and network and a diversified customer base," Mr. Tricoire said in a statement.

Asco, founded in Baltimore, currently employs around 2,000 people, mainly in North America, and has been operating as an autonomous part of data center infrastructure provider Vertiv, formerly known as Emerson Network Power. It posted revenue of $468 million last year with an adjusted Ebitda margin for earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization of close to 23%.

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The all cash-deal is expected to close towards the end of 2017.

Write to William Horobin at william.horobin@wsj.com and Nick Kostov at nick.kostov@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 27, 2017 07:07 ET (11:07 GMT)