September 2, 2011 9:36 am

Smiths buys US group for $235m

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Smiths Group unveiled a $235m acquisition on Friday that will further expand the US reach of its Smiths Interconnect arm, a maker of electronic components and subsystems.

The agreement to buy the Virginia-based Power Holdings represented the sixth and largest purchase for Smiths Interconnect in the last three years, the company said.

Power Holdings makes equipment used in corporate data centres and is owned by Bertram Growth Capital, a private equity investor.

Smiths Group said the business, which employs 370, was expected to generate sales of about $156m in 2011 but did not indicate how profitable it was.

Philip Bowman, Smiths chief executive, said in a stock exchange statement: “Smiths Interconnect operates in a highly fragmented market that offers great scope for consolidation.”

The four years in which Mr Bowman has run Smiths has been punctuated by speculation that he planned to sell off chunks of the industrial conglomerate.

In January, Smiths said it had rejected a £2.45bn cash bid for the company’s medical unit, saying the offer was too low given the “highly cash generative” nature of the business.

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