LONDON Smiths Group plc, a broad U.K. engineering and instrumentation company, has announced the purchase of wafer probe and connector maker Interconnect Devices, Inc. (Kansas City, Kansas) for $185 million.
The purchase is being made by the Smiths Interconnect division and IDI is being bought from Milestone Partners, a Pennsylvania-based private equity firm. The all-cash purchase of Kansas City-based is subject to regulatory approval in the United States and is expected to complete in early April.
IDI designs and produces application-specific connectors using a proprietary spring-probe contact technology. It focuses on semiconductor and circuit-board testing, and high-reliability connectors for military, medical, homeland security and industrial markets. IDI employs around 560 people, more than half at its Suzhou plant in China, and runs a specialist engineering centre in Gilbert, Arizona. It is expected to generate sales of almost $80 million in the first full year of ownership and deliver strong margins. Smiths said.
"Smiths Interconnect operates in a fragmented market with many opportunities for consolidation. IDI is its fifth acquisition in two years and meets our strategic criteria of expanding the product range and extending geographic reach," said Smiths' chief executive Philip Bowman, in a statement. "Three of these companies have a strong presence in the fast-growing Asian market and have already expanded our microwave and protection technologies. This transaction also provides a significant Chinese base for our other technology area, connectors."
Smiths Interconnect President Ralph Phillips added: "With a major plant in China, IDI strengthens our connector operations and will allow us to leverage our existing international sales resources, particularly in Europe which accounts for a quarter of the global connectors market."