Rockwell Automation to Acquire South African Systems Integrator

The acquisition of Hiprom is expected to accelerate Rockwell’s growth in the Sub-Saharan region and the global mining and mineral processing industry.

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Rockwell Automation Inc. (www.rockwellautomation.com), the Milwaukee-based automation supplier, announced on Jan. 18 that it has agreed to purchase Hiprom Technologies (www.hiprom.com), a process control and automation systems integrator headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hiprom customers include the top global mining firms with precious metal and coal operations in the Sub-Saharan region, Rockwell said. Hiprom’s management team and all its 100 employees will join the Rockwell Automation Systems & Solutions business unit, which designs, builds and upgrades control, safety, and information solutions for manufacturing clients.

Mining & minerals

“This acquisition accelerates the growth of Rockwell Automation’s business in the Sub-Saharan region and further expands our customer presence in the global mining and mineral processing market,” said Hedwig Maes, president of Rockwell Automation’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

“Hiprom customers will continue to receive the high level of service they currently enjoy, and gain more direct access to the complete portfolio of Rockwell Automation products, services and solutions,” said Hein Hiestermann, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) for Hiprom. “Rockwell Automation customers will benefit from the expanded portfolio of application solutions, expertise and delivery capacity, specifically within the global mining and mineral processing market.”

“Strategically, this acquisition further strengthens our global project management and delivery capabilities and adds critical mass for our delivery of customer solutions in the rapidly growing Sub-Saharan market as well as globally in the mining, metals and minerals industries,” said Terry Gebert, vice president and general manager, Rockwell Automation Systems & Solutions business. “We look forward to a successful integration of the Hiprom domain expertise, project management and engineering talent into our global systems and solutions team.”

Long-term prospects

“Due to the improving global economy and increasing worldwide consumer demand, energy and commodity metal prices should continue to rise in the long-term, which will result in additional capital and operational expenditures for new and retrofit automation projects,” according to Craig Resnick, research director, ARC Advisory Group Inc. (www.arcweb.com), Dedham, Mass. “The acquisition of Hiprom should help Rockwell Automation to best leverage these market trends, as well as add some complementary geographic and vertical industry capabilities that will benefit its entire solutions portfolio.”

The acquisition is expected to close during the first calendar quarter of 2011 subject to the approval of regulatory authorities in South Africa.

Hiprom Technologies
www.hiprom.com

Rockwell Automation Inc.
www.rockwellautomation.com

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