26 March 2009

John Crane buys bearings firm

JOHN CRANE, a division of global technology business Smiths Group, today announces the purchase of Orion Corporation, a leading US-based designer and manufacturer of hydrodynamic bearings for energy and general industrial markets. 

The sale, from private owners for an undisclosed cash sum, is subject to regulatory approval in the US.

Headquartered in Grafton, Wisconsin, Orion complements and extends John Crane Bearing Technology – a business unit formed following the acquisition of a German-based bearings firm in October 2007.

Orion designs and makes hydrodynamic bearings for high speed turbine, generator, compressor and gear drive applications for the oil and gas, power generation and general industrial markets.  It reported sales in the region of US$50 million for the fiscal year ended 31 October 2008.

Paul Cox, President, John Crane, said: “This acquisition illustrates our strategy to develop market-leading product lines that can be grown using our extensive global sales and service network.  Orion builds critical mass in our hydrodynamic bearing business and adds a manufacturing, sales and service base in North America to supplement our existing operations in Europe.  This will establish John Crane as one of the leading manufacturers in the hydrodynamic bearings sector.”

Orion employs 270 people at its facilities in Grafton, Wisconsin, and Columbus, Nebraska.

The acquisition reflects the continued expansion of John Crane’s range of solutions for high-performance rotating equipment, which includes other product areas as mechanical seals and support systems, specialised filtration equipment and power transmission couplings.

ENDS