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Invensys pays pounds 145m for US Best Power

INVENSYS, THE electronics and engineering company, yesterday announced a brace of deals to spur its refocusing drive.

The company, formed in February from the merger of BTR and Siebe, said that it would buy Best Power, a US maker power units for the computer and telecoms sectors, for pounds 145m. Earlier, it confirmed details of the pounds 42m sale of its Australian automotive division to Austrim Nylex, a company run by a former BTR executive, Alan Jackson.

Invensys has been dispensing with peripheral business in the wake of the tie-up. About pounds 640m has been realised so far, about a third of the planned total. "The development of our power systems division was identified early on in the merger process as one of the main strategic initiatives for Invensys going forward," Allen Yurko, Invensys' chief executive, said.

The unit was bought from SPX Corporation, a maker of engines for household appliances. In the 12 months to September, Best Power made an operating profit of pounds 14m on sales of pounds 130m. Its products provide back-up sources of power in the event of electricity-supply failures.

The Australian Automotive Engineered Polymer Systems Division makes plastic parts for vehicles. In the year to September, it made pre-tax profits of pounds 10m on sales of pounds 110m.

Invensys shares added 11.25p yesterday to finish at 338,25p, just off their year-high of 356p, which was hit in August.