SKF is strengthening its position as one of the world's major suppliers of high-performance industrial seals by acquiring Economos, the Austrian manufacturer of seals and engineered plastic components. The acquisition, of 100 per cent of the shares of Economos Austria GmbH from Salzer Holding GmbH, is worth over £45million on a cash and debt-free basis. It follows the recent purchase of a controlling interest in the North American seals company Macrotech Polyseal Inc.
Economos has a worldwide network of subsidiaries and distributors, many of which are classified as Sealing Competence Centres, offering a close working relationship with customers from initial design through to final production and aftersales support. In the UK, the company has its head office in Slough, with an extensive network of 12 branches including dedicated outlets at leading industrial distributors, BSL Brammer and Wyko Industrial Services.
The acquisition of Economos will expand still further SKF's capabilities as a global manufacturer and supplier of high-performance industrial seals and associated products and services. In particular, Economos is recognised for its innovation and fast delivery services for hydraulic and pneumatic seals used in the oil and gas, food and beverage, pulp and paper, mining and steel industries. These seals are produced from a variety of materials including advanced plastics and are produced either at the company's principal manufacturing site in Judenburg, Austria, or machined in key local markets to ensure rapid deliveries.
Economos had sales of almost £50million in 2005 and employs over 800 staff worldwide. Bo Annvik, President of SKF Sealing Solutions, says: "In addition to broadening our presence in the industrial seals market, Economos brings a business and manufacturing concept that has made them world leaders in providing extremely high service levels. This is our second acquisition this year, which means that we are rapidly becoming a major force in the industrial seals business."