Bosch is teaming up with SiTime in a technology partnership to develop processes for the next generation of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) resonator products. They will enable higher speeds of 5G and longer battery life for IoT devices. Stable, reliable MEMS timing devices are needed for the successful operation of the new high-bandwidth IoT systems.
Bosch acquired a 4.4% stake in Ceres Power Holdings, a developer of next stage solid-oxide fuel cell technology. The partnership will focus on further development of the technology and the establishment of small-volume production operations at Bosch.
Stanley Black & Decker
SB&D is acquiring a 20% stake in MTD Products, a privately held global manufacturer of outdoor power equipment based in Ohio, for $234 million in cash. Under the terms of the agreement, SB&D has the option to acquire the remaining 80% of MTD beginning in July 2021.
CEO James Loree said that the investment in MTD will increase their presence in the $20 billion global lawn and garden market in what he termed a financially and operationally prudent way, and will enable them to expand beyond handheld outdoor products. MTD had 2017 revenues in excess of $2 billion. They manufacture and distribute lawn tractors, zero turn mowers, walk behind mowers, snow throwers, trimmers, chain saws, utility vehicles and other outdoor power equipment for both residential and professional customers. Their brands include Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt and Remington. They manufacture in North America, Europe and Asia and have a global distribution network. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in early 2019.
From the Morgan Stanley Laguna Conference where SB&D was represented by CFO Don Allen:
They believe one of the benefits of their stake in MTD will be their ability to help MTD get their costs down. They will create a joint taskforce that will work on commercial opportunities for the different brands and joint utilization of the different technologies they bring to the table.
Eventually they will be moving toward replacing gas products with battery powered ones, which they believe is the next horizon for battery technology. They think a three to five year timeline for commercializing is reasonable.
They had multiple stages of price increases throughout the year in response to commodity inflation and currency impacts, and now they are dealing with the impacts of the new tariffs. By the end of September their price increases will be fully implemented in the markets.
A lot of the tariffs do not dramatically impact power tools, although in some cases they impact components such as motors. Regardless of when tariffs take effect, there are a couple of months of lag time before the effect is felt in the market.
Their customers have been very reasonable and balanced during their pricing discussions In the face of commodity inflation and tariffs. One of the questions they are all dealing with is how much can prices increase before it starts to affect volume.
The Craftsman launch is still in the early stages but has been very well received. The brand stands for high quality at a reasonable price. Now that they will be able to marry the power of the brand with innovation and product technology they believe the brand will grow dramatically.
The rollout was planned strategically to begin with the Lowe’s stores with the most volume and traffic where they felt the brand could have the biggest impact. The Craftsman rollout began around Father’s Day with a limited number of products. They are now beginning the full rollout. When it’s complete, about 1,200 products will be stocked in each Lowe’s store.
When they acquired Craftsman the supply chain was a bunch of external vendors who supplied products to Sears. Today they are manufacturing about 40% of the products and see the opportunity to get that close to 80% over the next two to three years. Their capacity to manufacture in house has been greater than they initially projected.
They still believe Craftsman will be at least a $1 billion brand, but don’t think it will take it the ten years initially forecast to reach that goal.
Amazon will only have selective Craftsman products this year, but the Amazon rollout is progressing on schedule.
Craftsman has been a captive brand for a long time, and as Sears has shrunk their footprint over the past decade, the number of people exposed to the brand has fallen. So there is need for a marketing refresh. Craftsman will probably start having a presence in sports marketing, especially baseball and NASCAR.
Cannibalization will definitely be a factor, and there is some cannibalization happening in the rollout as some of their brands are coming out of Lowe’s as Craftsman goes in, but their shelf space is expanding, and their dollar volume will expand significantly.
There is a little competition between Stanley brand and Craftsman but they think it can be managed. DeWalt is targeted at a different part of the market.
Their growth and performance in the tools market correlates more to GDP than it does to housing starts and remodeling indexes.
DeWalt is partnering with the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation to support the construction of the Statue of Liberty Museum. The museum is scheduled to be completed in 2019. DeWalt is providing funding and donating thousands of premium power tools, hand tools and accessories, including a variety of FlexVolt tools. The museum’s construction is being led by Phelps Construction Group. The sponsorship also marks the beginning of the DeWalt Honors campaign that will highlight builders globally who exemplify a lifetime of work in the building and construction trades on sites of historical and cultural significance.
SB&D and LEGO Brand Group completed a $19 million equity investment in Evolve Additive Solutions, whose proprietary Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) technology is designed for automated manufacturing and factory-floor integration. The commercialization of STEP has significant advantages for molding processes. Evolve’s mission is to produce innovative manufacturing solutions that enable customers to manufacture in revolutionary new ways.
SB&D was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, which is considered a gold standard for corporate sustainability. Earlier this year SB&D aligned their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and in February their environmental targets were approved by the Science-based Targets Initiative.
Trimble announced that they are bringing the range of Trimble companies under a “One Trimble” umbrella. Companies include PeopleNet, 10-4 Systems and ALK. The goal is to improve innovation and deliver comprehensive solutions. Trimble is based in Sunnyvale, California and employs 11,000 people in 36 countries.
Trimble introduced Trimble SmartDelivery, which offers electronic proof of delivery, routing and fleet mobility technology that provides real-time activity data. They also introduced a variety of other transportation solutions.
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