Eaton completes purchase of Japanese fluid power joint venture company


CLEVELAND, OHIO… Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation(NYSE:ETN) today said it has completed the purchase of Sumitomo Heavy Industries' 50 percent interest in the two companies' Japanese fluid power joint venture, for an undisclosed amount. The two companies announced on October 27, 2000 that they had signed a letter of intent for Eaton to purchase Sumitomo's share of the business.

Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton chairman and chief executive officer, said, "The conclusion of this purchase demonstrates our business commitment to the Asia Pacific Region, and is an important step in executing Eaton's strategic plan for the development of our fluid power business there. We are optimistic that this business provides a fertile foundation for future applications of fluid power technology to new and existing markets in the region.

"Additionally, we feel this particular transaction is advantageous to us because of our intimate familiarity with the product lines, the customers, and the workforce," Cutler said.

Eaton said the business will be re-named Eaton Fluid Power Ltd., and will continue to be headquartered in Kameoka, Japan.

Eaton Fluid Power Ltd., which will report to Paul L. Slocum, manager-Fluid Power Asia Pacific, employs 240 at three facilities in Kameoka and had 2000 sales of approximately $100 million. The business manufactures a complete line of hydraulic motors under the Orbit and Orbitrol brand names, primarily for the Japanese mobile equipment market, and in 1999 sold its four millionth Orbit unit. The motors are used in steering and power transfer applications for construction and farm machinery products. Eaton and Sumitomo originally formed the joint venture, under the name SEHYCO, in 1974.

Eaton is a world leader in the development and sale of fluid power products for industrial, mobile and aerospace markets, and today's transaction is the fourth acquisition in the Fluid Power business segment in the past year. Fluid Power is Eaton's largest business segment, with 2000 sales of $2.6 billion.

With 2000 sales of $8.3 billion, Eaton is a global diversified industrial manufacturer of highly engineered products that serve industrial, vehicle, construction, commercial and aerospace markets. Principal products include hydraulic products and fluid connectors, electrical power distribution and control equipment, truck drivetrain systems, engine components and a wide variety of controls. The company has 59,000 employees and 195 manufacturing sites in 24 countries.


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Renald Romain

William Hartman, vice president, Investor Relations