ABB has announced the acquisition of B&R, the largest independent provider of product and software-based solutions.
The 38-year-old Austrian company employs more than 3,000 people, including around 1,000 staff in research and development (R&D) and application engineering.
Operating across 70 countries, the group generated sales of more than $600 million in 2016 in the $20 billion machine and factory automation market.
The takeover is a major coup for ABB, which expands its leadership in industrial automaton and is predicting more growth in Industry 4.0.
“B&R is a gem in the world of machine and factory automation and this combination is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer.“This transaction marks a true milestone for ABB, as B&R will close the historic gap within ABB’s automation offering.
“This is a perfect fit and will make us the only industrial automation provider offering customers the entire spectrum of technology and software solutions around measurement, control, actuation, robotics, digitalization and electrification. This acquisition perfectly delivers on our Next Level strategy.
Going forward, it has been said ABB and B&R “will continue to invest considerably in R&D”.
Both parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price although it was confirmed ABB will finance the acquisition in cash.