Electronics Supply Chain Consolidates in 2014

Dec. 23, 2014
A host of mergers and acquisitions in 2014 means many companies will start off the New Year as larger organizations; here’s a look at some of the key acquisitions in the manufacturer and distributor market this year.

Many electronics industry suppliers will start 2015 as larger organizations thanks to a wave of mergers and acquisitions this year. Whether expanding their reach into growing markets such as the automotive industry or strengthening their coverage in promising products categories such as sensors, electronic component manufacturers and distributors are betting on their growing strength for success in the New Year.

Here’s a look at some of the key electronics supply chain acquisitions of 2014:

Acquisition activity heated up in late spring/early summer, with Molex announcing in May that its European Holdings group acquired the heavy-duty connector business of Westec s.r.l., an industrial connector manufacturer based in Italy. The deal expanded Molex’s industrial connector offering to customers worldwide.

In June, discrete semiconductor and passive electronic component manufacturer Vishay Intertechnology announced its purchase of Holy Stone Polytech Co. Ltd., a Japanese maker of tantalum capacitors. Vishay paid about $21 million for the company and met its objective to expand with niche acquisitions worldwide.  “Our acquisition of Holy Stone Polytech fits well into our strategy by enlarging our technological capabilities in tantalum capacitors and by strengthening the company’s position for these capacitors, especially in Japan,” Dr. Gerald Paul, Vishay’s president and CEO said in announcing the deal.

Also in June, TE Connectivity acquired Measurement Specialties, a Virginia-based supplier of sensors and sensor-based systems, for $1.7 billion. Capitalizing on growing demand for sensors and related solutions, the deal expands TE Connectivity’s sensor portfolio to include pressure, vibration, force, temperature, humidity, ultrasonic, position, and fluid sensors.

Later in the summer, two semiconductor suppliers announced deals that have helped reshape the automotive semiconductor supplier landscape. Germany’s Infineon Technologies AG acquired U.S.-based International Rectifier Corp., and On Semiconductor announced a deal to acquire Aptina Imaging Corp. The deals helped each buyer rise in the ranks of automotive industry suppliers, with Infineon climbing to the number 2 spot and On Semiconductor climbing to number 8, according to analysis from industry researcher IHS Technology, released this fall. The landscape was further changed with October’s announcement by Qualcomm that it would purchase CSR PLC, making Qualcomm the world’s fourth-largest supplier of ASICs for automotive infotainment, according to IHS.

On the distributor side of the equation, /top-50-electronics-distributors-home there was a flurry of acquisitions as summer began, with four of Global Purchasing’s Top 50 Electronics Distributors announcing new deals. TTI, Sager Electronics, Master Electronics, and RFMW were all on the acquisition trail.

Texas-based TTI announced in June its purchase of Plainview, N.Y.-based Astrex Electronics, expanding TTI’s business in defense/aerospace connectors. “Our team is very excited to be joining the esteemed TTI organization,” Astrex president Mike McGuire said. “Joining an organization with such well-known commitment to connector products, customer service, technical expertise, and resources will allow us to provide our customers with an even higher level of service. We look forward to being a part of the culture and values TTI is known for.”

Also in June, Sager Electronics announced that it would buy PowerGate LLC, a North American power specialist distributor headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. The deal expands Sager’s position in the power market and “advances one of our growth strategies and strengthens our position in the market as a power specialist. Sager Electronics will preserve and build upon PowerGate’s specialization by making significant investments in additional key markets and inventory in order to accelerate growth,” said Sager president Frank Flynn.

California-based electronic components distributor RFMW Ltd. acquired Axomic Pte. Ltd., a specialty distributor of radio frequency (RF) and microwave components based in Southeast Asia. The deal expands RFMW’s global footprint and enhances its position as an RF-focused, technically proficient distributor serving high-tech customers and suppliers, company leaders said. The acquired company will be known as RFMW Asia.

California-based components distributor Master Electronics purchased Electro Sonic, a 60-year-old company serving customers across Canada. The distributor specializes in serving Canada’s OEM; maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO); and contract manufacturer markets with sales contacts across the country, including Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Edmonton, and Québec City.

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