MTL sells MOST to GE

As part of the acquisition of MTL by Cooper-Crouse-Hinds, MTL is divesting itself of the MOST process control system and the MOST SIL2 Intrinsically Safe I/O system, and related technologies. Graeme Philp, CEO of MTL, said to me in an email this morning, "In a nutshell, GE approached us in the Fall last year and we have been discussing this sale since then. Clearly we had a problem with the MOST business as some of our most important customers, the control companies, interpreted it as a move to compete with them - which is was never meant to be." Steve Ryan and Craig Thorseland from GE spoke to me on a conference call a little while ago, and confirmed their eagerness to get the deal done-- which it isn't, not quite. It must still go through Federal and EC review before closing. One can hope that things will go better with this acquisition than with the Honeywell one. As for the possibility that GE might find itself a major Wonderware Distributor, since MTL MOST owns Wonderware West (formerly Standard Automation and Control LLC), Ryan and Thorseland allowed as how the end users would probably understand that this wasn't going to happen. Philp said, "By the way, and for the avoidance of doubt, MTL are retaining the Wonderware reselling business of Wonderware West." So, now GE has a process control system designed for oil and gas, and a safety system and safety certified I/O. This allows them to compete with Invensys, Rockwell, Emerson, Yokogawa, Siemens, and all the others who own the safety systems business in process automation. The end users are pleased to see competition increase.