Yaskawa Electric to buy The Switch

Japanese motion control and robotics company Yaskawa has signed an agreement to acquire The Switch, a leading supplier of permanent magnet generators and full-power converter packages for the wind industry and other renewables sectors.

The Switch says the acquisition "will support both companies' strategic objectives and strengthen their international presence."

The deal is expected to close within "a few weeks", The Switch says.

In Autumn 2013, the two companies entered into a strategic collaboration agreement which gave Yaskawa access to its megawatt-class power generation, while allowing The Switch to develop its presence in the growing Japanese market.

"This acquisition is a natural next step forward from our initial strategic collaboration," says Hiroyuki Ougi, Yaskawa's corporate senior vice president, general manager, System Engineering Division. 

"Now we can both gain access to new global markets with our wider range of innovative products."

"From our customers' point of view, this acquisition ensures global availability of The Switch offering," says The Switch president and CEO Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, who is a member of Recharge's Thought Leaders Club.

In March 2011, The Switch reached an agreement to be acquired by US power electronics and wind turbine design firm AMSC.

However the deal fell through in October that year after AMSC suffered the effects of its traumatic falling out with its main customer, Chinese turbine manufacturer Sinovel.

The Switch retained a €14.2m ($20.6m) advance payment that was made by AMSC in June in order to extend the preliminary sale agreement between the two companies.