Cooper scoops up Wheelock to expand reach

Saturday, April 1, 2006

HOUSTON--Cooper Industries, a global manufacturer of electrical products and tools, acquired Wheelock of Long Branch, N.J., a designer and manufacturer of life safety and emergency incident communications systems and devices, in February. The purchase will provide Cooper's life safety division, Cooper Menvier, based in the United Kingdom, a domestic entry point. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal will enhance Cooper Menvier's security and fire product offerings, thanks to Wheelock's UL-approved products.
"We didn't have a domestic reach here in the states where we could sell to our electrical distributors UL-approved products," said Yvonne Donaldson, director of corporate communications for Cooper.
Donaldson said there is a lot of value in the Wheelock name. Details of the merger, such as a name change, have not been finalized. "It's still too early in the game to say which direction we are going to take with that."
In the meantime the company plans, "to follow the direction that Wheelock has used with their customers, as they provide that great entry point for us with their customers," she said.
The merger will add to the company's European portfolio with products specifically designed and manufactured for the U.S. market, Kirk S. Hachigian, Cooper Industries chairman and chief executive officer said in a statement. Hachigian added that the acquisition augments the company's global reach.