Precision motor-maker Nidec Corp. has agreed to pay $1.2 billion (about ¥120 billion) for the motors, drives and electric power generation business of Emerson Electric Co., adding customers in Europe and North America in its largest purchase ever.
The all-cash deal includes France-based Leroy Somer Holding and businesses based in the U.K., U.S., China and India, Nidec said Tuesday in a statement. Nidec purchased other divisions of St. Louis-based Emerson in 2010.
Nidec, led by 71-year-old billionaire Chairman Shigenobu Nagamori, has announced deals worth about $2.9 billion since 2000 to add more than 40 companies and form the world’s biggest maker of precision motors for hard-disk drives. Bringing on the Emerson businesses will help Nidec reach its midterm target of ¥2 trillion ($20 billion) in sales, compared with the ¥1.178 trillion it booked for the year ended March, the Kyoto-based company said in a statement.
“This fits in with his diversification plans,” said Edwin Merner, president of Atlantis Investment Research Corp. in Tokyo. “He thinks electric motors have a great future and are going to be used for more and more things. It’s going to be a growth business.”
Nidec’s two biggest customers are Seagate Technology PLC and Western Digital Corp., which make hard drives used in personal computers and other devices, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That has prompted the company to look to broaden its product range as growth shifts away from disc drives to solid-state storage for top-selling tablets and smartphones.
Nagamori last year said he could envision buying a company with sales of as much as ¥1 trillion to help raise Nidec’s revenue to ¥10 trillion.
The Emerson deal, announced Tuesday, is more than triple the size of its next-largest, the $337 million acquisition of the pump-maker Geraete- und Pumpenbau GmbH Dr. Eugen Schmidt, which was completed last year.
Nidec’s 2010 acquisition included Emerson’s commercial and industrial motors as well as its appliance motors and controls but excluded Leroy-Somer, a large motor business based in Europe.
Emerson Chief Executive Officer David Farr in June 2015 announced plans to spin off the company’s network power division and explore options for other operations, including motors and drives, to focus on more profitable units.