No new online chat lingo, IMI is short for Imperial Metal Industries. Of its five business segments, the largest is Fluid Power; it engineers Norgren-brand motion and fluid controls for use in trucks and even in drug-dosing valves. Severe Service -- through its CCI, Truflo Rona, and Orton brands -- makes custom-engineered valves for the power generation and pulp/paper industries, among others. Beverage Dispense supplies soft drink dispensers and on-line parts, while Indoor Climate designs TA Hydronics-branded valves for commercial/residential HVAC. In-store displays and online marketing services are created by IMI's Merchandising unit. IMI operates mostly in Europe and North America.
While the company does most of its business in these established regional markets, it is definitely on the bandwagon with other global businesses seeking to tap emerging geographic markets, including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South America (especially Brazil), and Asia (particularly China and India). These regions are dealing with urbanization, industrialization, and infrastructure growth; therefore, they are ripe market opportunities for IMI's products.
With that realization, the company is doubling its investment in sales and engineering resources to Brazil, China, and India over the next three years. IMI will invest £15 million (about $24 million) more in the next couple of years to transfer certain of its manufacturing operations to lower-cost facilities in China, the Czech Republic, India, Mexico, and Poland (with a goal of 55% low-cost manufacturing by 2014). The company's Severe Service business area is 34% invested in emerging markets.
Looking specifically to bolster its Severe Service operations, in 2012 IMI obtained Grupo InterAtiva, a Brazilian valve firm, and Remosa SpA, an engineering business specializing in valves and flow control equipment, based in Italy. In late 2011, the company swallowed up TH Jansen Armaturen GmbH (THJ) of Germany for €17.5 million ($24 million) in cash. THJ, which was founded in 1903, designs, makes, and sells customized isolation valves for the iron and steel, petrochemical, and power industries.
IMI closed out 2010 with the purchase of Texas-based Zimmermann & Jansen (Z&J). The acquisition brought expertise in providing severe service valves and related flow control products. Z&J, which was purchased from Valves Investment for about €135 million (almost $179 million), had previously made strides in penetrating emerging markets such as China, India, and Russia. Like many of these previous acquisitions, Z&J was integrated into IMI's Severe Service division.
Whether it's based on global trends, technology leadership, IMI's product mix, or its ability to select the correct niche markets, the company has been increasing its revenues for the last five years. Its 2011 sales numbers grew by 14%, from $2.96 billion to $3.38 billion compared to the year prior, but its net income decreased by 9%, dipping from $348 million to $318 million. Because the company's diverse product offerings are impacted differently by cycles and market demand, its balance sheet is not completely impaired if one market or segment is affected negatively. – less