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John Crane Buys Hydrodynamic Bearings Business

JOHN CRANE, a division of global technology business Smiths Group, today announces the purchase of Orion Corporation, a leading U.S.-based designer and manufacturer of hydrodynamic bearings for energy and general industrial markets.

The sale is from private owners for an undisclosed amount.

Headquartered in Grafton, Wis., Orion complements and extends John Crane Bearing Technology - a business unit formed following the acquisition of a German-based bearings firm in October 2007.

Orion designs and manufactures hydrodynamic bearings for high speed turbine, generator, compressor and gear drive applications for the power generation, oil and gas and general industrial markets. It reported sales of approximately $50-million for their 2008 fiscal year, which ended October 31.

Paul Cox, President, John Crane, said “This acquisition illustrates our strategy to develop market-leading product lines that can be grown using our extensive global sales and service network. Orion builds critical mass in John Crane’s hydrodynamic bearing business and adds a manufacturing, sales and service base in North America to supplement our existing operations in Europe. This will establish John Crane as one of the leading manufacturers in the hydrodynamic bearings sector.”

Orion employs 270 people at its facilities in Grafton, Wis. and Columbus, Neb.

The acquisition reflects the continued expansion of John Crane’s range of solutions for high-performance rotating equipment, which includes other product areas such as mechanical seals and support systems, specialized filtration equipment and power transmission couplings.

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