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Billion $dollar acquisitions continue: ABB acquires B&R

April 4, 2017

ABB, one of the Big Four global robot makers, has acquired Austrian industrial automation integrator and components manufacturer B&R (Bernecker & Rainer) Automation for an undisclosed amount but estimated to be “close to $2 billion.” The purchase is being funded from ABB’s own cash and is expected to close by mid-year.

ABB has an installed base of over 300,000 industrial robots in 53 countries around the world. At this week’s Automate/ProMat trade show in Chicago, ABB is presenting their whole line of industrial and collaborative robots including their new IRB 1660ID welding robot and YuMi collaborative robot.

B&R Automation has a complete line of control systems including their new X90 for mobile equipment and outdoor applications like agriculture, forestry, construction and municipal vehicles.

By combining B&R with ABB:

  • B&R said the acquisition will enable it to provide comprehensive industrial automation solutions globally and across the entire spectrum of technology and software in measurement, control, actuation, robotics, electrification and digitalization.
  • ABB said the acquisition would increase its sales in industrial automation to around $15 billion by adding B&R’s annual sales of more than $600 million. According to Reuters, it would also “consolidate ABB’s No.2 position in the $130 billion processing and industrial sector behind Siemens but ahead of rivals such as Emerson, Rockwell Automation and General Electric.

Investor AB, a 10% owner of ABB, spokesman Stefan Stern said:

As we see it, this is a very important, strategically sound acquisition which clearly strengthens ABB’s position in factory automation. It is important for ABB to continue to work with internal efficiency and at the same time invest for the future within strategic areas.

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series... read more


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