MRO Magazine

NSK acquisition assures supply of precision balls for bearings

Tokyo, Japan -- NSK Limited has purchased all 20.44 million outstanding shares of Amatsuji Steel Ball Manufacturing...


January 23, 2006
By MRO Magazine

Tokyo, Japan — NSK Limited has purchased all 20.44 million outstanding shares of Amatsuji Steel Ball Manufacturing Co. Ltd. of Osaka, Japan.

The US$359.7 million purchase represents a premium of approximately 34% over the average share closing price over the past three months, even though the stock is up 50% for the year.

The move also cements a direct relationship that began in 1988, allowing NSK to absorb Amatsuji and control it as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Amatsuji’s AKS product line includes chrome steel balls, which represent 78% of sales; stainless steel balls, which account for 8% of sales; carbon steel balls, accounting for 4% of sales; nylon, brass and ceramic balls representing 5% of sales; and machinery parts accounting for 5% of sales. Currently, NSK accounts for almost half of total AKS sales.


Amatsuji operates two ball factories in Osaka, Japan, and one built in 2003 in Poland, AKS Precision Ball Polska. In addition, there are three joint ventures operating in Osaka: Nitto Steel Ball, AKS Hambai and Sakai Amatsuji.

With NSK, Amatsuji operates three direct joint ventures, each of which operates next door to a sister NSK bearing factory. They are NSK-AKS Precision Ball Indonesia, which recently doubled its output, in Cibitung, Bekasi, Indonesia; NSK-AKS Precision Ball Europe, located in Peterlee, U.K.; and NSK-AKS Precision Ball Co. in Clarinda, Iowa.

The acquisition enables NSK to move towards more vertical integration as well as allowing it to better control component costs and compete more effectively against lower-cost Asian rivals.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, NSK Limited is a world-class producer and innovator of motion and control products. Established in 1916, the company is now the world’s second largest bearing manufacturer, employs over 20,000 people worldwide, , operates 13 technology centres, and has more than 47 global manufacturing facilities and over 100 sales operations (including NSK Canada, based in Mississauga, Ont.). NSK produces and distributes over 100,000 different types of bearings, linear motion and automotive component products.

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