Regal-Beloit Corporation

Citation metadata

Editor: Jay P. Pederson
Date: 2009
International Directory of Company Histories
Publisher: Gale, a Cengage Company
Document Type: Company overview
Pages: 8
Content Level: (Level 4)

Document controls

Main content

Full Text: 
Page 335


Regal-Beloit Corporation

Regal-Beloit Corporation

200 State Street
Beloit, Wisconsin 53511-6254
U.S.A.
Telephone: (608) 364-8800
Fax: (608) 364-8818
Web site: http://www.regalbeloit.com

Public Company
Incorporated:
1955 as Beloit Tool Corporation
Employees: 17,900
Sales: $1.8 billion (2007)
Stock Exchanges: New York
Ticker Symbol: RBC
NAICS: 335312 Motor and Generator Manufacturing; 333612 Speed Changer, Industrial High-Speed Drive, and Gear Manufacturing; 333613 Mechanical Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing; 333995 Fluid Power Cylinder and Actuator Manufacturing; 335314 Relay and Industrial Control Manufacturing; 336350 Motor Vehicle Transmission and Power Train Parts Manufacturing

Regal-Beloit Corporation is one of the world's largest manufacturers of electric motors, motion-control products, and power generation equipment. Among the company's main product lines are motors for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) applications, a full range of AC and DC industrial motors, electric generators and controllers, gears and gearboxes, marine transmissions, and high-performance automotive transmissions. The facilities of Regal-Beloit include around three dozen main manufacturing plants located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, India, Thailand, and China. Founded in 1955 as a producer of high-speed cutting tools (an area since divested), Regal-Beloit later ventured into power transmission equipment and then, via a string of acquisitions starting in 1997, into its largest segment in the early 21st century, electric motors.

ORIGINS IN CUTTING TOOLS IN MID-FIFTIES

Regal-Beloit Corporation was founded in 1955 by entrepreneur Kenyon Y. Taylor as the Beloit Tool Corporation in the southeastern Wisconsin community of Beloit. Working from his home with three friends, three desks, and three telephones, Taylor manufactured specially designed metric and decimal-dimensioned cutting tools from a "plant" in his garage. Emphasizing superior customer service from the start, Taylor offered 24-hour delivery of his special taps to his mostly local customers. Within six months of the company's inception, orders were multiplying, and Taylor hired more workers to expand his production capacity. Quickly running short of space, he moved Beloit Tool to an old abandoned roller-skating rink east of downtown Beloit. By the end of its first full year in business, Beloit Tool had posted losses of $40,000, the first and only time it registered an unprofitable year. From its earliest days, Beloit Tool marketed its products under the Regal brand (named, some said, after a type of flower).

In 1957 Taylor acquired Crest Tool Industries, a cutting tool company that specialized in providing tools Page 336  |  Top of Article to U.S. government purchasing agencies, and two years later Beloit Tool had passed the $100 million sales level. The same year, it demonstrated its early commitment to employee-sensitive management by establishing a profit-sharing plan, a byproduct of Taylor's reaction to the treatment of workers as "commodities and clock numbers" that he had experienced firsthand during the Great Depression.

With sales soaring, in 1961 Taylor moved his corporate headquarters to a new location in an old farmhouse in nearby South Beloit, Illinois, and in 1967 acquired the historic Durst Foundry and Machine Works of nearby Shopiere, Wisconsin. That company's founder, Walter Durst, had established Durst in 1932 and built a significant niche manufacturing equipment for the farming industry, mostly in the form of pump drives, large specially designed transmissions, forklift axles, and a variety of standard and custom gearboxes. Taylor kept Durst on as a consultant and renamed the new operation Durst Power Transmission Division.

GOING PUBLIC, CHANGING NAME TO REGAL-BELOIT

In 1969 Beloit Tool completed its first public offering of stock, selling 120,000 shares over-the-counter at $12.48 per share. In 1972 Taylor officially changed Beloit Tool's name to Regal-Beloit Corporation, an alteration that was primarily intended to dispel the erroneous notion that the company specialized in machine tools. The firm's stock began trading on the NASDAQ in 1973; three years later, the company moved to the American Stock Exchange.

Throughout the 1970s, Taylor continued his strategy of expanding his firm's market share and product lines by acquiring promising companies mainly in the cutting tools area. In this segment, Regal-Beloit had absorbed such small players as Empire Gage Company (Detroit, Michigan), Walter T. Cole Tool Company (Scottsdale, Arizona), Quality Tool Works (Waukegan, Illinois), QT Tool Company (Bedford, Indiana), and Standworth Tool (Lebanon, Indiana) before adding several more in the 1970s, including M.E.C. Corporation, Caladak Gage Company, the Connecticut-based Douglas Tool, Inc., and Los Angeles-based Premium Cutting Tools, Inc. In the early 1970s Regal-Beloit also made a short-lived foray into the consumer hardware market via the purchases of Standard Fasteners, Inc., Standard Packaging Service, and American Fastener Corporation, which were placed into a new Fastener Division. After the sales for these businesses proved disappointing, this division was divested in deals completed in 1975 and 1978.

The U.S. power transmission market, meantime, had traditionally been fragmented among dozens of smaller manufacturers, and the pickings for an acquisition-minded, cash-heavy firm such as Regal-Beloit seemed ripe. In mid-1978 Regal-Beloit purchased Orbmark Company, the developer of a high-torque, low-speed hydraulic motor. A year later Taylor brought James L. Packard, a seasoned corporate manager from PepsiCo, Inc.'s Frito-Lay division, onboard Regal-Beloit's management team. Initially heading Durst, Packard was quickly promoted to company president and chief operating officer during 1980. In expectation of the huge sales potential of foreign markets, Taylor in 1979 also unveiled Regal-Beloit International Sales Corporation, which he headquartered in the firm's Beloit offices.

Sidebar: HideShow

Company Perspectives

Our Vision: We will clearly distinguish our products and services as the best value to our customers, as measured by our customers. We will maintain a sustainable, competitive advantage through the excellence of our people and our processes—creating value for all our stakeholders.

Our Mission: We will live our values, demonstrating integrity in all our actions. We will function with a high level of personal energy, energizing those around us. We will have the courage to make difficult decisions and execute to accomplish our vision.

PUSH INTO POWER TRANSMISSION PRODUCTS

Regal-Beloit was hit hard by the deep recession of the early 1980s, and its cutting tools business faced a less prosperous future because of its place within a mature industry whose products were improving in quality and thus lasting longer, resulting ultimately in a reduction in sales. In a crucial shift in the company's history, Packard pushed for a concerted acquisition-driven expansion of Regal-Beloit's more promising power transmission business, building on the Durst and Orbmark foundation, in order to reduce the firm's reliance on cutting tools. This drive commenced in 1981 with the acquisition of Grove Gear Corporation of Union Grove, Wisconsin, a manufacturer of standard and special worm gear speed-reducing gearboxes, adaptors, and accessories, founded Page 337  |  Top of Article in 1947. It continued the following year when Regal-Beloit purchased Rockwell International's Off-Highway Division, which specialized in heavy-duty gearing for agricultural and construction equipment, hydraulic pump drives, and power transmissions.

Also in the early 1980s, Regal-Beloit began a program of plowing $7 million to $8 million annually into new equipment to ensure that its manufacturing processes were as efficient and modern as possible. At the same time, it was also earning a reputation as the only firm in the industry that purchased used equipment from machinery dealers and auctioneers, at a 30 percent savings, to keep operating costs down. Buying only bug-free products from reliable dealers, Regal-Beloit by 1996 was saving $3 million annually on equipment purchases. It also began adopting the low-inventory technique later known as "just-in-time delivery" several years before it became de rigueur among American corporations.

In 1984 Taylor stepped down as CEO while remaining chairman of the board and turned Regal-Beloit's reins over to Packard, who continued the company's grand acquisition strategy as sales broke the $57 million mark, a company record. Throughout the 1980s, 12 firms were purchased and absorbed, substantially expanding the firm's market share, manufacturing capability, and profitability. As Packard later commented, "by quickly instituting effective cost controls, more efficient manufacturing methods and our strong customer service philosophy, these new divisions became strong contributors to the company's overall performance." Moreover, by holding out for a reasonable selling price, paying only cash (rather than stock), and considering only firms that could generate earnings in the first year following acquisition, Regal-Beloit recouped its acquisitions costs quickly and kept its debt low. Finally, by preserving the identity of the acquired company's product line and assiduously applying "lean" manufacturing techniques (such as "just-in-time"), its new acquisitions could grow rapidly once in the corporate fold.

Although the purchases of power transmission businesses were ultimately more strategic, Regal-Beloit's acquisitions of this period also included a number of firms within the founding area of cutting tools. In 1984, for example, the company bought Glenbard Manufacturers, Inc., a venerable manufacturer of reaming tools based in Chicago. Packard returned to the acquisition waters again one year later with the purchase of National Twist Drill of Columbia, South Carolina, a producer of large-volume drills, taps, end mills, gages, and reamers. Meanwhile, on the power transmission side, Regal-Beloit in 1985 also added Noster Industries, Inc., of Garden City, Michigan, a producer of specially designed heavy-duty automotive transmissions for military vehicles.

By 1985, its 30th anniversary year, Regal-Beloit was employing 1,250 people working out of 18 manufacturing and customer service facilities nationwide. Packard led its large facilities through a major improvement program, incorporated new products and related manufacturing equipment into the company's plants, and began a systematic workforce flexibility program in which nearly a third of Regal-Beloit's employees were training for new positions at any given time. After three decades at Regal-Beloit's helm, Taylor finally relinquished the chairmanship to Packard in 1986. As sales reached $78 million, Packard installed the first U.S. computer-controlled manufacturing process for grinding threaded tools in 1986, and the Power Transmission Group won several major contracts, including a $5.5 million agreement with the federal government to design and test transmissions for refueling vehicles.

Sidebar: HideShow

Key Dates

1955:
In Beloit, Wisconsin, Kenyon Y. Taylor founds Beloit Tool Corporation, specializing in high-speed cutting tools.
1967:
Beloit first enters the power transmission product business via purchase of Durst Foundry and Machine Works.
1969:
First public offering of stock is completed.
1972:
Company's name is changed to Regal-Beloit Corporation.
1981:
Grove Gear Corporation is acquired.
1991:
Regal-Beloit ventures overseas for the first time, acquiring the U.K. firm Opperman Mastergear, Ltd.
1997:
Company makes entrance into electric motor manufacturing via purchase of Marathon Electric Manufacturing Corporation.
2000:
Leeson Electric Corporation is acquired.
2004:
Regal-Beloit doubles in size by acquiring two General Electric Company units.
2006:
Company sells the remainder of its founding business, cutting tools.
2007:
Fasco Motors and Jakel Incorporated, producers of motors and blower systems for air-moving applications, are acquired.

Beginning in the early 1980s, the power transmission equipment industry had become mature—growth Page 338  |  Top of Article was slow, sales were declining, and the profusion of industry firms led to excess manufacturing capacity. The industry, which had long been dominated by old line and "captive" manufacturers (companies manufacturing equipment exclusively for their parent firm), began to undergo a radical transformation in which foreign and domestic competition intensified and new specialized product niches began to emerge. In this new competitive environment, some smaller companies failed because they were unable to afford new equipment, and some larger firms began to outsource their work to cut costs. Regal-Beloit exploited both opportunities: The failing smaller firms made attractive acquisition targets, and Regal-Beloit's experience with diverse product lines enabled it to claim the outsourced work of the larger firms. Packard led it into a wider and wider series of product markets in which, although it often was not the largest firm, its flexibility, customer service performance, and streamlined manufacturing processes could find a very profitable niche. The power transmission equipment industry was inexorably contracting, but Regal-Beloit seemed to face only opportunity.

As the company adjusted to its 1985 acquisition of National Twist and Noster's product lines, in 1986 it began a string of five plant expansions in five years and a year later acquired four more firms: Paterson Gearmotor, Inc., a manufacturer of fractional-horsepower gear motors; Illinois Gear of Chicago, a manufacturer of a variety of gears for heavy industrial use; Ohio Gear of South Carolina, a manufacturer of standard and special worm gear and concentric shaft speed reducers; and Richmond Gear of South Carolina, a producer of high-performance ring and pinion gear sets and transmissions. The additions broadened Regal-Beloit's product line, pumped up its financials, and enabled it to minimize its dependence on any single one of its markets.

Surveying his firm's new profile, Packard commented to the Beloit Daily News, "all things considered, we think we're going to be an exciting company." As if to drive home the point, he had added three more companies by decade's end: New York Twist Drill (1988), Foote-Jones Gear (1989), and Electra-Gear (1989). Founded in 1949, New York Twist Drill (Ronkonkoma, New York) manufactured drills, taps, end mills, reamers, and gages for high-volume applications and filled out Regal-Beloit's Cutting Tool Group. Electra-Gear, of Anaheim, California, and Foote-Jones Gear, of Chicago, Illinois, expanded the Power Transmission Group product lines. By 1991, Regal-Beloit's growth-through-acquisition strategy had amounted to 20 individual acquisitions, and in August 1989 it was named to Financial World magazine's "Growth 500," finishing 261st on the strength of its 23 percent five-year annual earnings-per-share growth rate. By the end of the 1980s, Regal-Beloit was able to report record profits of $11.5 million on record sales of $167.4 million; the Power Transmission Group, which had begun the decade generating only 35 percent of overall sales, was responsible for 65 percent of revenues.

NEW HEADQUARTERS AND FURTHER ACQUISITIONS

In May 1990 Regal-Beloit broke ground on a new $2.4 million world headquarters building in downtown Beloit, signaling its aim to return to its original Wisconsin roots after nearly three decades on the other side of the Illinois border. When it opened in March 1991, the 24,000-square-foot building housed Regal-Beloit's corporate offices, data processing center, and advertising, accounting, and personnel departments in a light-flooded design intended to avoid a "factory" feel. The much-ballyhooed move, however, was clouded by uncertainty. Regal-Beloit's capital expenditures for 1990 were expected to hit $8 million to $10 million, a ten-year high, and amid rumors of a potential takeover bid, management could only confirm that 30 percent of company stock was in "friendly" hands. Moreover, a contract to build replacement transmissions for the U.S. Army had been poorly bid, and Regal-Beloit was forced to swallow the loss. Finally, because of its broad product diversification, the recession of the early 1990s dragged at Regal-Beloit's profits, which dropped to $5.5 million in 1991, while revenues were off as well, totaling just $152.2 million that same year.

Nevertheless, the company's fundamental financial conditions remained positive. It had achieved an average annual return on investment of 17.2 percent (despite little use of debt) between 1955 and the move to the new building, had raised cash dividends 26 times in those 31 years, and had declared 123 consecutive quarterly payments without a dividend reduction. Although Packard was forced to admit that because of the recession Regal-Beloit's sales volumes were "significantly reduced," it had done better than many of its smaller competitors, which presented themselves as attractive acquisition targets. Moreover, with healthy operations in Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, California, South Carolina, North Carolina, and New York, its long pursued acquisition strategy seemed as viable as ever. "We are still looking at companies to purchase," Packard told an interviewer in 1991. "Our ability to grow will come through acquisitions. Right now we have a strong cash position, virtually no debt, and we are pretty well poised to be aggressively seeking out acquisitions at this point."

Page 339  |  Top of Article

Consequently, in July 1991 Packard completed Regal-Beloit's first overseas acquisition with the purchase of Opperman Mastergear, Ltd., of Newbury, England. The acquisition added 220 employees (most in England, the rest at Opperman's German operation) to the company's ranks. Two more acquisitions—hydraulic pump drive manufacturers Hub City, Inc., of Aberdeen, South Dakota, in April 1992 and Terrell Gear Drives, Inc., of Charlotte, North Carolina, in November—boosted Regal-Beloit's sales to $199.8 million by year-end. In 1993 price increases in the used metal-cutting machine tools industry were offset by increased sales figures for the Power Transmission Group, all of whose units posted improved numbers. With exports accounting for roughly 3 percent of company sales and rising, Packard began casting about for another likely acquisition target in Europe, where the power transmission market was scattered among several small firms. By the end of 1993 Regal-Beloit's total sales had edged up to nearly $220 million.

Packard strengthened Regal-Beloit's profit margins throughout the 1990s by continuing to install computer-aided manufacturing systems, dropping non-performing products and unveiling new ones, and restructuring facilities. He also began implementing "cell" manufacturing techniques in which a wider variety of products could be manufactured by abandoning the traditional practice of committing entire plants to the production of a single product in favor of divvying up each facility into flexible manufacturing cells to produce multiple products as needed. As Regal-Beloit's sales jumped to $242.6 million in 1994, Packard found another market-share-broadening target in the marine and industrial transmission operations of Borg-Warner Automotive, Inc., which unit Regal-Beloit acquired in January 1995. Christened the Velvet Drive Transmission Division, the operation contributed mightily to Regal-Beloit's 21.9 percent increase in sales for 1995, which was further boosted by the progress of Regal-Beloit's new Italian operation, Costruzioni Meccaniche Legnanesi S.r.L., acquired in late 1994.

Aborted merger talks with Brad Foote Gear Works of Illinois, material and labor shortages, power outages and extreme heat, and slowing sales of Regal-Beloit's agricultural power transmission products all seemed to doom management's optimistic sales forecasts for 1995. Nevertheless, by the close of the year strong demand from virtually all industrial customers and the increasing progress of Regal-Beloit's foreign subsidiaries (which were closing in on 10 percent of all power transmission sales) had produced new records for sales, net income, and earnings per share.

If anthropologist Margaret Mead was correct in describing the city of Beloit as a "microcosm" of American society, Regal-Beloit had served as a kind of microcosmic barometer of the U.S. industrial economy throughout its history. Its markets were so diverse and its products so essential and varied that its quarter-by-quarter performance could reliably be used as an index of the condition of U.S. industry. By the 1990s, it had become a Wall Street darling (since 1992 its stock had been significantly outstripping the Dow Jones factory equipment index), and in 1996 Forbes magazine named it among the "200 Best Small Companies in America." Moreover, more than one industry analyst shared the opinion that Regal-Beloit was an "extremely well-run company … a low-cost, efficient manufacturer" managed by "capable" executives with an eye toward the "long haul."

ENTRANCE INTO ELECTRIC MOTORS IN 1997

As successful as Regal-Beloit had been throughout its history, it was at a key juncture in the late 1990s because its two core businesses, cutting tools and power transmission products, both had limited prospects for future growth. In 1997, the company shifted gears again making a dramatic plunge into a new, though highly complementary and faster-growing, sector: electric motors. The selection of electric motors as Regal-Beloit's new growth engine made perfect sense given that 70 percent of the gearboxes the firm had been churning out were ultimately connected to an electric motor.

Regal-Beloit's March 1997 purchase of Marathon Electric Manufacturing Corporation for $279 million in cash, at the time by far the largest acquisition in company history, marked the firm's inaugural move into electric motors. Founded in 1914, the Wausau, Wisconsin-based Marathon produced electric motors, generators, and related products. In the domestic market for industrial electric motors, it had ranked fourth, producing AC electric motors ranging in size from 1/12 horsepower to more than 500 horsepower for such applications as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) products, pumps, commercial laundry equipment, and floor-care products. Marathon had also developed into a major supplier of generators, ranging in size from 5 kilowatts to 2.3 megawatts, to the Department of Defense, generator-set assemblers, and original equipment manufacturers. Marathon maintained ten manufacturing and warehousing facilities, including eight in the United States and one each in Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Regal-Beloit nearly doubled itself via this deal, adding Marathon's $245 million in 1996 revenues to its Page 340  |  Top of Article own sales of $281.5 million. Marathon Electric became the center of a newly formed Electrical Group, while the company's cutting tools and power transmission units were combined as the Mechanical Group. By 1998, Marathon's first full year under Regal-Beloit, revenues for the two groups were nearly equal: $280.2 million for the Mechanical Group and $263.4 million for the Electrical Group. Net income that year set a record of nearly $42 million.

Over the next decade, Regal-Beloit completed a string of acquisitions that ultimately made it one of the largest producers of electric motors in the North American market. In May 1999 the company spent $32.1 million for the Lincoln Motors business of Cleveland-based Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., gaining a line of AC motors ranging from 1 horsepower to 1,000 horsepower. The addition of Lincoln Motors, which had been generating annual sales of $50 million, pushed the revenues of Regal-Beloit's Electrical Group beyond those of the Mechanical Group. The former received another large boost in September 2000 in the form of the purchase of Leeson Electric Corporation for $260 million. Founded in 1972 and based in Grafton, Wisconsin, Leeson had garnered revenues of $175 million in fiscal 2000 from the sale of a variety of smaller electric motors (up to 350 horsepower). The acquisition of Leeson, operator of eight plants throughout the United States and Canada, propelled Regal-Beloit into the number two position among manufacturers of industrial electric motors in the United States, trailing only Baldor Electric Company.

Regal-Beloit's operations suffered during the first years of the 21st century as the manufacturing sector fell into a deep recession. Revenues grew in 2001 to $663.6 million thanks to the Leeson acquisition, but in the poor economic climate profits plunged 42 percent, to $19.6 million. Profits improved slightly the following year, but sales fell 8.8 percent. The company took a charge of $725,000 in the fourth quarter of 2002 to cover the costs of plant consolidations and the closing of four facilities, including a Leeson plant in Saukville, Wisconsin. At this same time, Regal-Beloit was seeking opportunities for expansion in global markets with faster growth potential than North America and was looking to widen its international manufacturing network. Toward these goals, the company at the beginning of 2003 entered into a joint venture with the Chinese firm Shanghai Jinling Co., Ltd., to manufacture subfractional and fractional electric motors in China. Additional joint ventures and acquisitions in China followed over the next several years.

DOUBLING IN SIZE WITH 2004 GE DEALS

As the economic climate began to improve for Regal-Beloit in 2004, the company turned aggressively acquisitive once again, completing two separate deals with General Electric Company (GE). In August 2004 Regal-Beloit paid $72 million in cash for GE's Commercial AC motor division, producer of motors, pumps, and processors for commercial heating and air conditioning units. In addition to its headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the GE division operated a major manufacturing plant in Juárez, Mexico, and a technical resource center in Hyderabad, India. This unit had annual sales of $144 million. In the second deal, valued at approximately $400 million in cash and stock, Regal-Beloit gained GE's HVAC motors and capacitors businesses, which produced a full line of motors and capacitors mainly for residential HVAC systems. Also based in Fort Wayne, these operations included four plants, located in Springfield, Missouri; Faridabad, India; and Reynosa and Juárez, Mexico. Sales for the operations were around $442 million.

Regal-Beloit was essentially able to double itself with the GE deals as revenues jumped from $619.1 million in 2003 to $1.43 billion in 2005. Out of the 2005 revenue total, 86 percent of the sales stemmed from the Electrical Group. In addition to greatly bolstering the company's position in the HVAC motor market, these acquisitions significantly enlarged Regal-Beloit's profile as a multinational company. They also turned out to be the final ones of Packard's deal-filled tenure as CEO. In April 2005 Packard handed the corporate reins to Henry W. Knueppel after having shepherded Regal-Beloit through more than two dozen acquisitions and shifted the firm's focus twice, toward power transmission products beginning in the early 1980s and toward electric motors starting in 1997. Since joining the company in 1979, Knueppel had worked his way up to president and COO by April 2002. Packard remained chairman until his retirement at the end of 2006, when Knueppel assumed that position as well. In the meantime, Regal-Beloit transferred its stock from the American Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange in January 2005.

In 2006, when revenues reached $1.62 billion and net income surpassed the $100 million mark for the first time, Regal-Beloit made a number of additional strategic moves overseas. Among these were the startup of a generator manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Mexico, additional capital investments in India, and the acquisition of the Sinya group, a Changzhou, China-based manufacturer of fractional and subfractional HVAC motors. Back home, Regal-Beloit rolled out the largest Page 341  |  Top of Article product launch in its history, the introduction of the X13, a line of high-efficiency HVAC motors that was quickly adopted by the seven leading makers of HVAC equipment. The year also marked the end of an era as Regal-Beloit sold what remained of its cutting tools business. By the time of the divestment, the firm's founding business was generating annual sales of only about $17 million.

During 2007, the company continued to churn out new energy-efficient motors in response to increased demand stemming from rising energy costs. Regal-Beloit also completed four more acquisitions, including the French firm Alstom's motors and fans business in India, and Morrill Motors, a producer of fractional-horsepower motors for commercial refrigeration and freezer equipment. Morrill, based in Erwin, Tennessee, had additional manufacturing capacity in Jiaxing, China. In two separate transactions completed in August 2007, Regal-Beloit acquired two businesses specializing in motors and blower systems for various air-moving applications such as alternative fuels systems, water heaters, and HVAC systems: Fasco Motors and Jakel Incorporated. Fasco, purchased from Tecumseh Products Company for $220 million, maintained manufacturing and distribution facilities in Missouri, Mexico, Thailand, and Australia, while Regal-Beloit gained a plant in Piedras Negras, Mexico, through the Jakel deal. These two businesses, which together generated annual sales of more than $350 million, were amalgamated under the Fasco name in January 2008.

The turmoil in the U.S. housing market wreaked havoc with the residential HVAC sector in 2007, but Regal-Beloit overcame this challenge to post record results thanks to its balanced portfolio of businesses. Buoyed by strong results in commercial and industrial motors, power generation products, and overseas markets, sales were up 11.3 percent, to $1.8 billion, and net income grew 7.7 percent, to $118.3 million. The difficulties in the residential HVAC motor sector continued in 2008 as Regal-Beloit also contended with the rising costs of raw materials such as steel and copper. In the meantime, Regal-Beloit remained on the acquisition trail, picking up another Chinese electrical motor maker, Hwada, in the spring of 2008.

Paul S. Bodine
Updated, David E. Salamie

PRINCIPAL SUBSIDIARIES

Hub City, Inc.; Costruzioni Meccaniche Legnanesi (Italy); Mastergear GmbH (Germany); Opperman Mastergear Ltd. (U.K.); Marathon Electric Manufacturing Corporation; Regal-Beloit Holdings Ltd. (Canada); Thomson Finance Ltd. (Canada); Regal-Beloit Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore); Changzhou Modern Technologies Co. Ltd. (CMT) (China; 95%); Changzhou Regal-Beloit Sinya Motor Co. Ltd. (China); Regal-Beloit Mexico Holding S. de R.L. de C.V. (99.9%); Thomson Technology Shanghai Ltd. (China); Regal-Beloit Electric Motors, Inc.; Morrill Motors, Inc.; Regal Beloit Holding BV (Netherlands); Regal Beloit Finance BV (Netherlands); RBC Australia Holding Company Pty. Limited; Marathon Electric Motors (India) Ltd. (99%); RBC Horizon, Inc.

PRINCIPAL COMPETITORS

Baldor Electric Company; Emerson Electric Co.; A.O. Smith Corporation; General Electric Company; Cummins, Inc.; Siemens AG; Toshiba Corporation; WEG S.A.; ABB Ltd.; Altra Holdings, Inc.; Peerless-Winsmith, Inc.; SEW-EURODRIVE GmbH; Getriebebau Nord GmbH & Co. KG; Sumitomo Corporation; ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

FURTHER READING

"The CEOs of Wisconsin: James Packard," Business Journal of Milwaukee, March 27, 1993, p. 33

Content, Thomas, "Regal-Beloit Partners with Chinese Manufacturer," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 11, 2002, p. 4D.

Doherty, Chuck, "Regal-Beloit Plans Purchase," Milwaukee Sentinel, February 25, 1992, p. 1D.

Goc, Michael J., Take an Idea and Make It Go: Regal-Beloit Corporation, 1955-2005, Friendship, Wis.: New Past Press, 2005, 95 p.

Gordon, Mitchell, "Cutting Edge," Barron's, May 26, 1986, pp. 45-46.

———, "The Cutting Edge: Regal-Beloit Is Carving Out a Lush Market," Barron's, December 21, 1981, pp. 32+.

Hajewski, Doris, "Firm's Frugality Pays Off," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 8, 1995.

Jones, John A., "Regal-Beloit Keeps Profits Up As Heavy Industry Rolls On," Investor's Business Daily, January 2, 1996, p. A33.

Krantz, Matt, "How One Firm Saves a Third by Buying Used," Investor's Business Daily, October 15, 1996, p. A4.

Lank, Avrum D., "Regal-Beloit Set to Pay $379 Million to Acquire Motor Businesses from GE," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 16, 2004, p. 1D.

Nelson, Brett, "The Sweet Smell of Oil," Forbes, December 29, 1997, pp. 63+.

"Newest ‘Kid’ on a Super Block," Beloit Daily News, April 24, 1991, special issue on Regal-Beloit Corporation.

Osenga, Mike, "Pump Drives Key to Expanding Off-Road Program," Diesel Progress, September 1993, pp. 52-55.

Page 342  |  Top of Article

Ostrander, Kathleen, "The Big Move: Regal-Beloit's New Headquarters Reflects Its Philosophy," Milwaukee Sentinel, March 28, 1991, sec. 4, p. 1.

———, "Regal Dips, but Seeks Acquisition," Milwaukee Sentinel, April 25, 1991, sec. 4, p. 3.

Romell, Rick, "Fit for Forbes: Bottom Line Helps Regal-Beloit Make List," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 25, 1996, p. 9D.

———, "Regal Beloit Finds Fire Sale: Tecumseh Sells Subsidiary for About Half Purchase Price," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 4, 2007, p. D1.

———, "Regal-Beloit to Buy Marathon Electric," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 27, 1997, p. 1D.

Rondy, John, "Regal-Beloit Corporation," Business Journal of Milwaukee, July 31, 1993, p. 17.

Sandler, Larry, "Regal-Beloit Eyes Growth in Europe," Milwaukee Sentinel, March 18, 1993, 3D.

Savage, Mark, "Motor Maker Steps Up: Leeson Purchase Boosts Regal-Beloit," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 9, 2000, p. 15D.

———, "Regal-Beloit Plans Acquisitions," Milwaukee Sentinel, December 16, 1994, p. 2D.

———, "Regal-Beloit Plans to Buy Motor Unit," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 7, 1999, p. 1D.

Schmid, John, "Regal Beloit Makes Acquisition," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 5, 2007, p. D3.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|CX3234200080