Electrical component maker Schneider vies for TAC

The company seeks a presence in the building automation and controls market
Friday, August 1, 2003

DALLAS - The world’s largest manufacturer of circuit breakers, Schneider Electric, plans to move into the building automation and control market with a proposal to buy TAC AB, a Swedish company with its Americas headquarters located here.

The $438 million deal represents significant growth potential for Schneider Electric, with the building control and automation market expected to grow more than six percent a year. Schneider is an approximately $10 billion company based in France that makes power distribution products sold through the wholesale market and to dealers.

“What TAC brings to the party is two-fold,” said Dean Meyer, president of TAC Americas. “We have the opportunity to bring them closer to the end user and TAC can serve as a growth platform for them.” The end result is that Schneider moves from just offering electrical components to now serving the lucrative building and control market.

For TAC, a $400 million in annual sales business, the transaction is as mutually beneficial. The Swedish company has been owned by European venture capital firm, EQT Partners, which was seeking a return on its investment. The transaction would align TAC with most likely a longer-term owner looking for strategic synergies and growth opportunity.

TAC has only been in the U.S. market for three years through its acquisition of Control Systems International in September 2000. Previously the company primarily served the European market.

As of press time the transaction between TAC and Schneider had yet to close and was awaiting regulatory approval, but company officials anticipated the deal would close before the end of the summer.

If approved, Meyer expects each company will leverage sales of products from both companies. In the future, he hopes the two will be able to offer a complete building solutions package to customers.