Schneider Electric has entered into an agreement to acquire automatic transfer switch (ATS) maker Asco Power Technologies for $1.25bn.

Currently, Asco operates seven manufacturing sites, employing about 2,000 people, mainly in North America. The company sells its products under the brands of ASCO, Firetrol, Avtron, and Froment.

Asco is a major player in power source management for critical buildings in North America.

The deal will enable to Schneider Electric to strengthen its position in the global market for automatic transfer switches.

The acquisition is expected to boost Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Power Platform in key markets and segments.

It is also anticipated to enhance Schneider Electric’s value proposition in the end-to-end energy management chain for customers in healthcare, financial services, datacentres and other critical buildings.

Schneider Electric said: “The market for ATS presents attractive long-term growth opportunities as more commercial and industrial customers move towards autonomous or multi-source power management. This trend is driven by a more decentralized power generation world, core to Schneider Electric’s strategic focus.”

The acquisition, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

After the completion of the transaction, Asco business will become part of the Schneider Electric Building business.

Schneider Electric chairman and CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire said: “With ASCO, we are enhancing our EcoStruxure Power management capabilities. This will help us to offer the most advanced solutions and technologies for critical buildings in a more decentralized world.

“A market with natural growth as more commercial and industrial customers move towards autonomous or multi-source energy management.”

Image: Schneider Electric head office in Rueil-Malmaison, France. Photo courtesy of Schneider Electric/Wikipedia.