Lincoln Electric

Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LECO) acquired robot maker Vizient Manufacturing Solutions for an undisclosed amount.

Vizient, based in Bettendorf, Iowa, produces robots that weld products and handle materials. The target has about $40 million in annual sales and also has facilities in Brazil.

Lincoln Electric CEO Christopher Maples says the acquisition will “diversify our end market exposure and broaden growth opportunities globally.” Cleveland-based Lincoln also manufactures robots that are used in welding. Vizient is not the first acquisition Lincoln made in the automated systems space. In 2015, the company bought Rimrock Holdings Corp., another robotic welder.

Lincoln Electric was founded in 1895 as a maker of electric motors. Some of the company's other current businness lines include fabrication along with maintenance and repair services for the agriculture, mining and industrial sectors.

Buyers are drawn to makers of robots, which are being used in a range of industries to increase the efficiency of manufacturing. Arlington Capital Partners purchased the defense and security business of iRobot Corp. (Nasdaq: IRBT); Auris Surgical Robotics Inc. will acquire Hansen Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: HNSN); and Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) said it will buy MagneMotion. For more on M&A in the space, see Robots Prove Attractive M&A Targets and Robot & Drone Makers will Draw in Dealmakers

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