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IDEC Expands into Touch Screens and Control Systems

The $266 million deal for France’s Apem extends its industrial control business into markets like farm equipment and aeronautics.

IDEC recently acquired France’s Apem in a $266 million deal that extends its industrial control business into markets like farm equipment and aeronautics. The Japanese firm is one of the largest makers of components for human-machine interfaces like panel switches and keypads.

Toshi K. Funaki, the president of IDEC, believes that the company’s logic controllers and interface products will complement Apem’s indicators and other parts used in medical devices, materials handling, and transportation. Other IDEC business units sell sensors, bar code readers, and advanced optoelectronics.

The deal “provides us with access to new customers, new markets, and greater range of products and services. Combining the two companies, we are a much bigger enterprise with a global reach,” Funaki said in a statement. Together, the companies earned $500 million in revenue last year and employed around 3,500 people.

The company said that Apem’s sales division would help it expand in Europe and the United States. The Apem brand will be kept alive, the French firm’s president, Grégory Sachnine, said in a statement. The 65-year-old Apem claims to have more than 20,000 customers worldwide.

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