ABB to acquire B&R

By Kyle Shamorian

Apr 04, 2017

ABB said today it will acquire Bernecker + Rainer Industrie-Elektronik GmbH (B&R), the Eggelsberg, Austria-based independent provider of product- and software-based, open-architecture solutions for machine and factory automation. The transaction is expected to close this summer.

With the acquisition, ABB aims to combine its portfolio of digital solutions, ABB Ability, with B&R's products in PLC, industrial PCs and servo motion as well as its software and tailored automation solutions suite.

B&R will become part of ABB’s Industrial Automation division as a new global business unit – Machine & Factory Automation – headed by the current managing sirector, Hans Wimmer. The co-founders of B&R, Erwin Bernecker and Josef Rainer, will act as advisors during the integration phase to ensure continuity.

“This transaction marks a true milestone for ABB, as B&R will close the historic gap within ABB’s automation offering,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, pictured at right. “This is a perfect fit and will make us the only industrial automation provider offering customers the entire spectrum of technology and software solutions around measurement, control, actuation, robotics, digitalization and electrification.

“With our unique digital offering and our installed base of more than 70 million connected devices, 70,000 control systems and now more than 3 million automated machines and 27,000 factory installations around the world," Spiesshofer continued, "we enable our combined global customer base to seize the huge opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

Read Control's coverage of ABB Customer World 2017

B&R currently operates across 70 countries, generating sales of more than $600 million (2015/16) in the $20 billion machine and factory automation market segment. The company has committed to a mid-term sales ambition greater than $1 billion. B&R's headquarters in Eggelsberg will become ABB’s global center for machine and factory automation.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

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