The accelerating rate of automation – the conversion of a process, procedure or equipment from human to automatic control – is transforming virtually every industry.
We look at the factors influencing the market including the growth of robotics, the development of Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and the desire for manufacturers to provide complete customer solutions.
M&A activity across the automation market in recent years has been very strong, driven both by corporates looking to widen their product offering and institutional investors wanting to gain a foothold in such a fast-growing sector. Larger players are in a rush to acquire capabilities that can work across the dominant technologies of the smart, connected world – namely IT, electronics, robotics and process automation – and are prepared to pay healthy multiples to gain the IP and technological knowledge they require.
Case study: MacDonald Humfrey
A particularly notable deal over the past year saw Clearwater International advise MacDonald Humfrey, the UK’s largest independent automation, control and IT solutions systems integrator, on its cross-border sale to L-3 Communications (L-3), the New York headquartered provider of communications and electronic systems products used on military and commercial platforms.