Cooper Bussmann strengthened its IEC fuse link and fusegear business with the acquisition of GE Industrial Systems’ British Standard fuse-link product portfolio, including Red Spot fuse holders.

Circuit Protection Makers Expand With Acquisitions

July 9, 2012
Littlefuse makes inroads to automotive sensor market with purchase of Sweden-based Accel.

Leading circuit protection manufacturer Littlefuse announced in June its acquisition of Sweden-based Accel, a manufacturer of advanced electromechanical products for the automotive industry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Accel had 2011 revenues of roughly $20 million; the company’s products fall into four main categories: solar sensors, hall sensors for passenger retention systems, water in fuel sensors, and steering wheel switches.

Littlefuse leaders said the acquisition will give the company a foothold into the growing automotive sensor market and is consistent with its strategy to grow beyond circuit protection into adjacent, complementary technologies.

“Accel’s pipeline of new products and strong relationships with OEM and tier-one automotive customers around the world provide excellent growth opportunities for Littelfuse,” Dieter Roeder, vice president and general manager of the Littlefuse Automotive Business Unit, said in announcing the deal in early June. “In addition, Accel’s facility in Kaunas, Lithuania, provides us with a low-cost manufacturing base in Eastern Europe.”

Accel’s managing director Magnus Nilsson added that the deal will help Accel better serve customers and expand to new geographies.

“The good cultural fit and many synergies between the two companies will provide long-term benefits for both organizations,” he said.

More Deals

The acquisition follows another purchase agreement in the circuit protection market earlier this year. Cooper Bussmann, which makes critical circuit protection, power management, and electrical safety products, strengthened its International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) fuse link and fusegear business with the acquisition of GE Industrial Systems’ British Standard fuse-link product portfolio.

Brands such as Red Spot fuse holders and Safeclip are now part of the Cooper Bussmann family (see the figure). The deal expands Cooper Bussmann’s global overcurrent circuit protection portfolio—especially in India, where it will become the leading player in overcurrent protection, according to vice president and general manager of global IEC electrical products Enzo Strappazzon.

“We will be looking to invest in all the product lines,” Strappazzon said in a statement announcing the deal earlier this year. “We want to enhance the reputation of products like Red Spot fuseholders, which have been an industry fixture for many years. For our customers, the addition of industrial fuseholders to our existing range of IEC fuses simplifies inventory management and provides a one-stop shop for contractors.”

In related news, earlier this spring circuit protection and related components manufacturer Bourns announced the appointment of Erik Meijer to the newly created position of president, Bourns Electronics. The 11-year company veteran will oversee Bourns’ various business segments and will report to president and chief operating officer John Halenda, who will retire next year.

Among his accomplishments, Meijer guided Bourns’ circuit protection division to more than 500% growth over the last 10 years. He joined the company in 2000, and in addition to serving as vice president and general manager of the circuit protection division, became vice president and general manager for the company’s Resistive Products Division last year.

About the Author

Victoria Fraza Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.

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