Rotork Acquires YTC for $107 Million

Rotork, designer and manufacturer of actuators and gearboxes, has signed another agreement in its string of acquisitions, which laid successful groundwork for profit growth last year.

The FTSE-250 company has acquired valve positioner and accessories maker, Young Tech Co. (YTC), for $107 million. Rotork will purchase YTC using its own cash and existing bank facilities.

Last year, Rotork acquired G.T. Attuatori Renfro Associates, Flowco and Schischek. Most of Rotork's acquisitions to date have been in the controls business, accounting for nearly 60% of total company revenue.

The company continues to seek more acquisition as demand for valve-control actuators from oil and gas drillers looking to increase pressure to improve operation safety increases. Rotork sales grew 24% in 2013 in the oil and gas market.

Peter France, chief executive of Rotork, says shale field development, and the building of storage tanks and oil and gas pipelines are driving a hirer demand for electric actuators.

The company's electric, pneumatic and hydraulic actuators and control systems are also used in the marine, mining, food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

The company recently reported a 8.5% increase in full-year operating profit, discounting exchange rate fluctuations. Shares rose 5.5% making it one of the top gainer on the FTSE-250 Midcap Index .FTMC.

"Based on last year's rates, we are looking at a headwind of 4% from currency fluctuations (in 2014)," France said.

Investec Analyst Michael Blogg said he would leave his 2014 estimates for the company "broadly intact." "The platform carried forward from 2013 should offset any additional forex headwind," he said.

Rotork plans for more acquisitions and a launch of several new products in the first half of 2014.

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