Atlas Copco Acquires Remaining Shares in Chinese Drill Bit Maker

Stockholm, Sweden-based Atlas Copco has acquired the remaining 40 percent of shares in Wuxi-Hobic Diamond Bit Co Ltd, China, from its current joint venture partner, after receiving approval from the Chinese authorities.

Wuxi-Hobic is a Chinese manufacturer of diamond drilling tools for the mineral exploration markets. With the acquisition, Atlas Copco will get a stronger position in the Chinese region, and create a platform for further development of the Wuxi factory.

“China remains one of the most interesting regions in the world, and with historically high minerals prices, the global exploration market is expected to continue growing,” said Björn Rosengren, business area president, Atlas Copco Construction and Mining Technique. “Full ownership of Wuxi-Hobic will enable us to enforce our position in this market, but also support our capacity for exploration consumables on a global basis.”

Atlas Copco’s Geotechnical Drilling and Exploration division has production facilities for similar products in Sweden, Canada and South Africa, and will with this acquisition be able to benefit from increased cooperation between the units.

Wuxi-Hobic is being converted into a 100-percent wholly foreign-owned enterprise, owned by Atlas Copco (China) Investment Co. The new company name will be Atlas Copco (Wuxi) Exploration Equipment Ltd. The acquired company had total revenues of SEK 20 million in 2006 (about U.S. $3.0 million based on current currency conversion rates). The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

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