A year and a half after it was by outbid by Emerson for the purchase of Chloride, Switzerland-based ABB has returned to the data center-power area, this time looking closer to home. The recent announcement of acquisition of Newave SA, a fellow Swiss company specializing in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems, continues the trend of large multinational organizations purchasing UPS manufacturers. IMS Research believes this most recent example could present a challenge to established players in the coming years.
Jason dePreaux, a Research Manager who studies the UPS market, maintains that the impact of ABB’s acquisition of Newave will be felt more in the future, as opposed to instantly. “When Schneider bought APC, and when Emerson acquired Chloride, each entity was already deeply involved in the UPS market. So, each time, it was a case of making a big UPS company even bigger. In contrast, ABB is not currently a major UPS player and Newave’s footprint is mainly in Europe. So, the effect of the acquisition will not be immediate on the market.”
Currently, more than half the UPS market is held by the top three players - Schneider, Emerson, and Eaton. Over the past five years, each of these companies purchased other UPS vendors to enhance geographic coverage and expand product portfolios.
Depending on how aggressively ABB moves to expand Newave’s business, it could challenge the supremacy of the “big three." dePreaux continues, “The reach of ABB is enormous and could accelerate the growth of Newave’s business. Today, Newave is the 7 th ranked vendor in Western Europe, but much of the future market growth will be found in developing areas like Asia and Latin America. ABB’s resources could really kick-start Newave’s expansion in these regions.”
The trend is for vendors to expand beyond UPS and provide a full range of products and services centered on data center markets. dePreaux concludes, “I think this is