Why Are European Firms Buying Up North American Smart Grid Companies?
Austin, TX, 14 June 2012 IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS),
Austin, TX, 14 June 2012 IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc. (NYSE:IHS), reports that the market for distribution automation and smart grid networking hardware in the Americas is anticipated to grow to nearly $1.7 billion in 2012, with suppliers of both automation equipment and networking infrastructure experiencing sustained growth over 2011. Recent acquisitions indicate increased interest from multinational suppliers looking to gain share in North America as well as expand their smart grid portfolios.
Siemens outbid Belden to purchase RuggedCom around the same time of ABB’s purchase of Thomas and Betts. Both of these acquisitions fundamentally change the supplier landscape for important equipment markets serving the smart grid in the Americas. Says Senior Market Analyst Donald Henschel, “RuggedCom and Thomas and Betts both held important market share within their respective sectors. RuggedCom has been the clear market share leader in North American substation networking hardware, with around 40 percent of the market in revenue terms, while Thomas and Betts is an established name in North America market for medium voltage switching and power quality hardware.”
These acquisitions indicate targeted strategic efforts by established leaders in the utility equipment market in Europe. Differences in the utility grid layout, utility organization structure and the preference for regionally-established brand names has constrained share growth in this market for multinational grid automation suppliers from outside the region. While Siemens and ABB may have the product range to support most utility needs in the North American market, utilities here are smaller and often require slower, more constant piece-by-piece sales and support than the large nationalized utilities found in most of Europe.
Adds Henschel, “ABB and Siemens have demonstrated their focus on the North American market with these purchases, and it will be interesting to see how they make use of the foothold provided by these established North American names. Utilities in North America are used to personal service even on small business, and recognize certain brands as having long track records for such service.”
Further analysis of these issues is included in two current studies from IMS Research. The $700 million smart grid networking equipment market is covered in Smart Grid Networking – Americas – 2012, to be published in July, while switching, power quality, and other smart grid automation equipment are reviewed in the recently published Distribution Automation Equipment – World – 2012.
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About Smart Grid Networking – Americas – 2012
This study examines the market for networking equipment in the growing and evolving smart grid. IMS Research is building on its experience and market data within the smart metering and distribution automation markets to develop new research specific to the communications and control aspects of the smart grid. This report will publish in July.
About Distribution Automation Equipment – World – 2012
This is the latest report from IMS Research, published in early June, exploring utility investment in distribution automation equipment supporting power quality, power reliability and monitoring and control goals of the smart grid.
About IHS (www.ihs.com)
IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today’s business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS employs over 6,000 people in more than 30 countries around the world.
About IMS Research (www.imsresearch.com)
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS (NYSE: IHS), is a leading supplier of market research and consultancy to over 2500 clients worldwide, including most of the world’s largest technology companies. Established in the UK in 1989, IMS Research now has dedicated analyst teams focused on the factory automation, automotive, communications, computer, consumer, display, financial & ID, LED & lighting, medical, power & energy, solar PV, smart grid and security markets. Currently publishing over 350 different syndicated report titles each year, these in-depth publications are used by major electronics and industrial companies to assess market trends, solve marketing problems, and improve the efficiency of their businesses.