Volkmar Denner will remain at the head of Robert Bosch for another four years. His contract was extended, a sign of solid support for him on the board. Mr. Denner is reportedly known for his calm, sober outlook, and according to Handelsblatt Global Edition has said that leading the company into its next phase is “a dream job.”
Bosch acquired USA-based Skyline Automation via Climatec, which has been its subsidiary since 2015. Skyline Automation specializes in building automation technology, and reported revenue of $12 million last year. Financial terms were not disclosed. Stefan Hartung, managing director of Bosch’ energy and building technology division, said that the acquisition is a strategic step towards becoming a single-source provider of networked systems and services for buildings.
Bosch is looking at strategic options for Pittsburgh-based Akustica, and has retained Michigan-based Angle Advisors to evaluate interest in the MEMS microphone business unit. Akustica designs and builds microphone technology and has been owned by Bosch since 2009. Bosch said the Akustica evaluation is being done at the request of an interested party; no other business unit is included in the current evaluation.
STANLEY BLACK & DECKER
From the Robert Baird Global Industrial Conference, where SB&D was represented by CFO Don Allan and Greg Waybright, Investor Relations:
They look at companies such as 3M, Honeywell, Danaher and GE as their peers. Their focus over the past 15 years has been to transform themselves from a smallcap building products company to a largecap diversified industrial company.
They believe they can drive growth as a company in what they termed a low-growth world. They plan to do that by leveraging the Stanley fulfillment system, with three different areas: breakthrough innovation, commercial excellence and digital excellence.
Their objective is organic growth between 4% and 6%; they will be a little below 4% this year, and think they will be right around 4% next year. A large driver of growth will be the tools and storage business, which has had organic growth of 6% to 7% over the past few years. Growth will be below that in 2017 unless FlexVolt is even more successful than they are projecting.
Their forecasts also do not include any impact if they decide to divest any portion of the security business, which has consistently underperformed compared to other segments. However, the security business is very digitally driven, and has helped them hone their digital excellence and drive value across the company.
They are expecting FlexVolt to contribute about $100 million in sales this year and about $200 million in 2017. It is difficult to gauge the potential cannibalization of their existing corded products as they roll out FlexVolt. They would love the cannibalization to come only from competitors’ products, but realize that is not realistic. They have prepared enough capacity to have $400 million in FlexVolt sales in 2017.
Pros are looking for innovation that makes their job easier, makes them more productive and causes less wear and tear on their body. FlexVolt also appeals to Pros because they see it as safer for them to use than
corded products as there are no cords that could potentially cause slips and falls.
Amazon is a major customer of theirs, along with Home Depot, Lowe’s and other home centers. Ecommerce continues to become more and more significant, and the major players in retail also want to be big players in ecommerce. They think ecommerce can remain a successful part of their business.
They are expecting minor commodity inflation next year, about $20 million to $30 million in impact.
The $80 to $90 million in cost synergies from the Irwin and Lenox acquisition are driven by two big areas, supply chain and manufacturing and back office functions; there is also some overlap on the front-end resources that serve the customer. They have not quantified revenue synergies, but believe they will be significant.
They also believe the acquisition will provide an opportunity for cross-branding, such as they did with Stanley and Black & Decker and DeWalt. They are now selling power tools in emerging markets with the Stanley brand. They believe there are opportunities for the Lenox brand to be on certain power tools, and certain Irwin accessories could also be sold under the Stanley or DeWalt brands.
SB&D hopes to redevelop their legacy manufacturing properties in New Britain, Connecticut into a state-of-the art technology park that could include $500 million in capital investment. The facility would be powered by nearly 20 megawatts of Doosan fuel cells and low cost hydropower from a Stanley-owned utility company in Farmington. Developer/partner Thunderbird CHP hopes the data center will be a draw for big data users like ESPN, UConn, Yale and others and that it would encourage some companies to relocate operations to as many as four retrofitted New Britain buildings proposed in plans submitted. However, the project was not chosen for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s program to sell fuel-cell power to Eversource, which would provide an annual revenue stream and make redevelopment more financially feasible. The project would reportedly be built in phases.
Q3 revenue rose 4% to $584.1 million. Engineering and Construction revenue rose 2% to $332.4 million. CEO Steve Berglund said that they encountered more challenges than anticipated in the U.S., particularly in the geospatial market. They expect market ambiguities to persist into 2017, but they expect 2017 to be a year of growth and margin expansion.
Trimble acquired Building Data, a provider of managed content and software solutions that will become part of the Engineering and Construction segment. Trimble says the deal will allow them to reinforce their commitment to provide data and analytics solutions to the construction industry, and expand the BIM (Building Information Modeling) models they offer for construction. Building Data has a proprietary 3D database of more than 6 million images used by mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractors. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Trimble and Microsoft launched SketchUp Viewer, a commercial HoloLens application aimed at the architecture, engineering, operations and construction markets. Using Hololens, architects and designers can experience SketchUp models in a mixed reality, with holograms placed inside the real world. When users wear HoloLens goggles they can see 3D imagery projected in front of them.
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