TAC merges with IBS

Schneider solidifies combination of building controls, security
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Friday, September 1, 2006

BOSTON--Schneider Electric on July 31 announced the completion of the acquisition of Invensys Building Systems for $296 million. This comes one year after the 2005 acquisition of Invensys's EMEA operations.
IBS will be merged with TAC to form a building controls and security powerhouse expected to rake in $1.3 billion in revenues annually. "We've had our eye on IBS for a long time," said TAC vice president of marketing, research and development Wayne Lambert. "Finally all the pieces were in place to make it happen." Lambert cited IBS's strong sales channels in the Americas and the additional expertise in the marketplace IBS would grant as the major drivers of the acquisition.
Secondly, however, IBS also manufactures a line of field controller devices that will fill out TAC's already impressive portfolio of offerings. "They have a complete offering of field devices," said Lambert. "We have a little bit of an offer in that area. This allows us to offer a more complete package to our customers."
Vice president of sales for the Americas division Bob Klein agreed. "We now offer a complete line of field devices from top to bottom," he said. "We're the only manufacturer that produces every one of those items." The items in question could be any external sensor for a thermostat to a refrigeration unit to a DVR--the company owns Integral Technologies, too.
Both IBS and TAC, however, are strong in building system integration, and TAC might already be one of the top five to 10 integrators of security systems in North America. "TAC is not a street word for security," said Lambert, "and yet 20 percent of our revenues, and that's being conservative, is derived from our security business."
With IP-addressable devices becoming more prevalent, much of that security business is being seamlessly integrated into the building controls, something TAC has been doing for more than a decade. Still, things are new and different for the integrator. "Five or six years ago," said Klein, "we were talking to the facilities guys. Now we are talking to the IT guys. That's why there's such a strong move toward integration. Once you get IT involved, it makes it clear to them that they should have integrated systems that talk to each other. And that includes card access and video."