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Aerospace Shenzhen charts acquisition plans
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Aerospace Science & Industry Shenzhen Group Co, a major power equipment provider in the country, is planning to acquire two leading domestic power meter manufacturers, as part of its efforts to cash in on the looming trillions yuan-size smart grid construction market.

Aerospace Shenzhen, a subsidiary of one of the country's biggest defense contractors, will buy Shenzhen Techrise Electronics Co and Xi'an Liangli Instruments Co to strengthen its leading position in the smart meter market, top company officials said.

The deal is still not yet wrapped up but is expected to be closed very soon, said Xie Weiliang, general manager of Aerospace Shenzhen, without disclosing financial details.

After the acquisition, Aerospace Shenzhen will inject all of its meter production-related assets in the three companies into Shenzhen Techrise and list the company at a proper time, according to Frank Zhou, assistant general manager of Aerospace Shenzhen.

The acquisition is the first major industry consolidation in the power equipment, especially in power meter, sector following government's decision to build a nationwide smart gird.

The move is a sign that the Shenzhen-based conglomerate, which also has operations in telecom, machinery, new materials and property sectors, is aiming to slice a bigger market share from the construction of the smart gird that is expected to generate trillions of yuan worth of business opportunities, Xie said.

Shenzhen Techrise Electronics Co is a leading power meter producer with strong presence in the northeastern and eastern parts of the country, while Xi'an Liangli Instruments Co commands a considerable amount of market share in the northwestern region.

"The deal will help us blanket the nationwide market more effectively as Aerospace Shenzhen itself is a market leader in the south and southwest part of the country," said Xie.

The company, he said, is aiming to achieve 2 billion yuan revenue in three to five years and 10 billion yuan in 10 years.

The company, which currently sells its meter products to more than 25 countries such as India and Russia, will take at least 50 percent of the overseas smart meter market share in 10 years, Xie said.

The Chinese government is planning to set up a nationwide smart grid by 2020, which is expected to cost at least 1 trillion yuan investment, industry experts said.

"The size of the domestic smart gird market is expected to reach 1 trillion yuan in the next three years while overseas market size will also contribute 1 trillion yuan at the same time," Xie said.

Aerospace Shenzhen, he said, will expand its product portfolio to cover not only smart meter but also smarter power transmission and transformer solutions.

"We are aiming to become a solution provider for a full range of smart grid products," Xie said.

Smart grids, which delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology, would allow real-time monitoring of a customer's energy use and would likely result in decreased electricity use and allow energy companies to more efficiently distribute electricity, increasing its reliability and transparency.

Smart meter, which identifies consumption pattern in more detail than a conventional meter and communicates that information via some network back to the local utility for monitoring and billing purposes, could empower customers to make choices on how much energy they use.

Aerospace Shenzhen is a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation, one of the 136 biggest State-owned companies under the aegis of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the country's top State asset watchdog.

Aerospace Shenzhen, whose parent is also one of the biggest defense contractors in the country, realized 100 billion yuan revenue last year.

(China Daily August 12, 2009)

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