Illinois Tool Works acquires Despatch Industries

Illinois Tool Works (ITW) has acquired Despatch Industries, a provider of thermal processing equipment for the manufacture of carbon fibers.

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Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW, Glenview, Ill., USA) on July 25 announced that it has acquired Despatch Industries (Lakeville, Minn., USA), a provider of thermal processing equipment for the solar, carbon fiber and other thermal technology markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With full-year 2011 revenues expected to exceed $200 million, Despatch Industries products include solar cell firing furnaces, carbon fiber process ovens, and batch thermal processing equipment. Despatch furnaces and industrial ovens primarily serve customers in the solar energy, advanced materials and electronics industries. The company was founded in 1902.

"We are excited about this acquisition as the company's core thermal technology aligns well with certain of our other existing electronics equipment businesses," says Steve Martindale, executive vice president. "As a leader in thermal processing, Despatch provides us with immediate access to attractive and high growth industries such as solar and carbon fiber as well as the opportunity to extend sales of certain of our existing products into these new markets."

"This is an exciting opportunity for Despatch employees and customers as it will allow us to accelerate our growth and innovation under the global umbrella and strength of ITW," says Patrick Peyton, Despatch CEO. "Despatch's strong market presence and proven technology, coupled with ITW's global breadth and foundational strength, will facilitate a strong expansion of technology advancements and next-generation tools."

ITW is a Fortune 200 global diversified industrial manufacturer with revenues of $15.4 billion in 2010.