Fluid Power Talk

Eaton to merge with Cooper Industries, move global incorporation to Ireland

Cleveland-based Eaton Corp. announced this morning that it will merge with Irish electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries, which is headquartered in Dublin. Eaton will acquire Cooper, but will now be incorporated in Ireland and will be called Eaton Global Corp. Plc. Eaton's current chairman and CEO Alexander M. Cutler will continue to head the new company. The company's global headquarters will remain in Cleveland, according to news reports.

This is just one of many recent acquisitions by the company, in the past six months. Eaton has recently added a South Korean hydraulics motor and valve company and a Turkish hose maker to its fluid power roster.

Cutler said in a press release, "This compelling combination of Eaton’s power distribution and power quality equipment and systems with Cooper’s diversified component brands, global reach and international distribution creates a game changer to serve the electrical industry. This combination significantly expands our ability to better serve our customers with their demands for critical energy saving technologies as they address the impact of the world’s growing energy needs.”

It will be interesting to see what will become of Eaton's other divisions, including its hydraulics operations in Eden Prairie, Minn. as it appears they are steering the company to lead in electrical power transmission systems.

Update: In a presentation to investors and reporters, Eaton said it would save $160 million in taxes over the next four years, so the move is no surprise financially. The presentation did also say Eaton remains committed to its other divisions and plans to continue to build on its leadership positions through its acquisitions for its electrical, hydraulics and aerospace businesses.

Eaton's presentation also noted that Cooper had $5.4 billion in sales in 2011 for its wide range of electrical products and it already serves the U.S. market, with 60 percent of its sales coming from here, and 40 percent coming from a growing international focus. The company has manufacturing facilities in 23 countries and employs 26,000 worldwide.

The combined companies will have $21.5 billion in 2011 sales, with $3.1 billion in combined 2011 EBITDA.

More details can be found on Eaton's corporate website.


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