Toshiba said on Thursday that it will acquire Landis+Gyr in a deal valued at $2.3bn, including debt, in an effort to move into the promising overseas smart grid market.
Toshiba, which makes electricity-generating equipment including nuclear power stations, aims to extend its business into other areas of energy distribution.
The completion of the deal comes at a time when Japan’s nuclear crisis has dealt a blow to the group and its rivals, which had been betting on nuclear power as a drive of future profit growth.
Landis+Gyr, based in the low-tax Swiss canton of Zug, is a maker of smart meters, a key component of smart grids. According to Toshiba, it had annual sales of about $1.5bn last year. The smart grid market is expected to grow to Y5.8tn ($70.9bn), six times its current size, over the next decade.
This year Landis+Gyr unveiled deals to supply 62,000 smart meters to Finland’s Oulu Energy and more than 10,000 commercial and industrial advanced electricity meters to six provinces in China in what is intended to be the world’s largest smart grid.
Toshiba declined to comment on how it would finance the deal and said it had yet to determine the impact of the acquisition on its business performance in the year to March 2012.
Media reports had said the Japanese conglomerate might team up with other groups in the acquisition, but Toshiba said it had agreed to acquire the whole business.
Swedish private equity group EQT, owned by the Wallenberg family, dropped out last week, while US buy-out group TPG was beaten by a much higher offer from Toshiba late on Friday.
Landis+Gyr, founded in 1896, is owned by equity funds and individual investors, after been through a series of different owners including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Siemens in the 1990s and early 2000s.
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