Mergers and acquisitions are commonplace in today’s business world, and the woodworking industry is not immune to such actions. Bosch Power Tools announced in December the planned acquisition of parts of the Freud Group, including four Freud manufacturing sites in Italy, as well as sales companies in North America, China, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
Freud America Inc. will continue to operate as a Freud Group subsidiary division, reporting directly to Bosch corporate headquarters in Switzerland.
With the acquisition, Bosch is adding to its existing range of power tool accessories, especially high performance circular saw blades and router bits. The acquisition is subject to approval by authorities and the companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price, according to a Bosch company statement.
“Freud is an innovative supplier of high-quality circular saw blades, routers and cutters for professional users in trade and industry,” says Uwe Raschke, president of the Robert Bosch GmbH Power Tools division. “The company is successful worldwide in these segments, especially in North America. This makes Freud a perfect addition to our business, both technologically and regionally. As we further expand this business, we will build on the experience and extensive know-how of Freud associates and managers.”
“In our opinion, Bosch is the best possible partner for the Freud power tool accessories business, and will help it to continue its development worldwide and, in particular, in North America,” says Gino Pozzo, managing director of Freud SpA. “Freud know-how and manufacturing competence will certainly strengthen the current Bosch position in this segment.”
Freud is Bosch’s fifth recent acquisition to strengthen its power tools division. In January and July 2008, Bosch expanded its measuring-tools business by acquiring the Chinese specialist RoboToolz and the U.S. company CST/berger. Recently, Bosch also purchased parts of the garden irrigation business of L.R. Nelson Corp., based in Peoria, Ill. In addition, it has acquired majority shareholding in Sia Abrasives, a Swiss manufacturer of flexible abrasive systems.
With power tools, accessories, garden tools, and measuring technology, the Bosch Power Tools division generated sales of about $4.6 billion in 2007. The division employs a global work force of roughly 16,000 associates.