Canadian Manufacturing

Mergers, mayhem and more

Schneider Electric harvests in China...Kim Jong Il does his best Adam Smith impression...$2 billion boot deal...Offshoring for fun and profit...Model train wreck



CanadianManufacturing.com Editor Michael Ouellette keeps an eye on weekend business news so you can focus on R&R.

Mergers and acquisitions have been a big story for industry in 2011 and this weekend was no different.

On Friday, energy management firm Schneider Electric bought Leader & Harvest Power Technologies, a China-based maker of medium voltage drives. The deal should be worth about US$650 million when all adjustments are tallied and gives Schneider another front office in the rapidly expanding Asian markets.

On Sunday, VF Corp., the maker of North Face, Vans and Wrangler-branded apparel, agreed to buy boot-maker Timberland for $2 billion. That’s a lot of boots.

The Globe and Mail’s weekend edition espoused the virtues of off-shoring production and suggested that it would be good for Canadian manufacturers to use their economic might to buy cheap foreign assets.

The paper also reports that Dalton McGuinty’s green energy explosion is likely blowing up in his face. Considering Canada’s flirting with new conservatism, this does not bode well for the Ontario Premier.

China convinced North Korea to establish a joint economic zone that will be “government-guided, enterprise-based and market-oriented.” Canadian industry probably won’t tap-in to this market, but maybe a little capitalism will help The North feed its people, but probably not.

And finally, Canada’s largest model railway is being dismantled. If you’ve ever built one of these, even on a small scale, you know how disheartening it is to break one down. After 35 years of building it, I can’t imagine how these people feel.

That’s all for now. See you next Monday.

Contact Michael Ouellette.

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