FMC sale to General Electric will aid growth

3rd June 2011

SMARTGRID technology firm FMC-Tech has been sold to General Electric, in a move expected to result in rapid growth of the business in overseas markets.

The Shannon-based company said the value of the deal is not being disclosed, but have come well out of the transaction, it said.

The trigger for the deal has been the new management system developed for overhead electricity networks. FMC was just one of two European companies to have won General Electric’s $200m (€138m) “ecomagination” challenge in November 2010.

FMC has Irish management and investment support from Enterprise Equity, the Western Development Commission and Enterprise Ireland. The system has been trialled for the past two years in Baltinglass and Portlaoise with ESB Networks, and with Northern Ireland Electricity in Omagh and Coleraine.

Group chief executive Mike McCormack said he was delighted to announce the deal with General Electric at this time.

The reputation of the company and its worldwide presence “gives our product portfolio a wonderful opportunity for growth and development,” he said.

While he could not comment on the details of the deal “I can say that this is a good outcome for our shareholders, management and employees.” He described the company and the deal as “an Irish success story,” in which the contribution of NIE and the ESB Networks and our investors all played a key role.

Bob Gilligan, head of digital energy for General Electric Energy Services, said: “With the acquisition of FMC Tech’s portfolio, General Electric will be able to provide a new level of grid intelligence to utilities.” As a result of FMC’s success, power-generating companies will be in a position to “better balance the load by managing capacity and optimising the amount of power sent through a line”.