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Peterborough

N.H. Ball Bearings purchases German company

Acquisition adds ceramic bearing technology to company’s line of products for aerospace, defense and medical industries

PETERBOROUGH — New Hampshire Ball Bearings has purchased a German manufacturer of customized ceramic and hybrid ceramic ball and roller bearings, an acquisition which company officials say will enable NHBB to expand its product line.

The sale was announced in a press release issued by New Hampshire Ball Bearings on Monday. The Peterborough company, a subsidiary of Minebea Co., Ltd, acquired all the shares of CEROBEAR GmbH, a manufacturer located in Herzogenrath, Germany, where it operates a 21,500-square-foot manufacturing facility and employs more than 100 workers. CEROBEAR is currently constructing another 24,750 square feet of manufacturing and office space, which is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 1.

The press release states, “This strategic acquisition provides significant competitive advantages to both companies. CEROBEAR gains access to the global manufacturing and marketing resources of NHBB and Minebea, enabling the company to rapidly expand its worldwide customer base in the aerospace, defense and medical industries. By partnering with CEROBEAR, whose core strength is ceramic technology development, NHBB is now in a position to assist its aerospace customers with the adoption of ceramic bearing technology in a wider range of aircraft applications.”

“CEROBEAR offers ceramic rollers and ceramic rings, products that we currently buy externally for our hybrid bearings,” said Robyn Nattila, NHBB’s marketing manager in Peterborough, on Monday. “CEROBEAR has technology that we don’t employ. This will allow us to offer a broader range of products.”

According to the press release, ceramic and hybrid ceramic bearing technology is gaining wider acceptance with aircraft and engine manufacturers who are looking for materials that reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.

As a result of the acquisition, CEROBEAR becomes a part of the NHBB/myonic Business Unit within Minebea. CEROBEAR will operate as an independent subsidiary under NHBB. With the addition of CEROBEAR this month and myonic GmbH in 2009, the NHBB/myonic Business Unit now operates three manufacturing facilities in the U.S. — in Peterborough, Laconia, and Chatsworth, Calif., — two in Germany and one in the Czech Republic.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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