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September 23, 2009

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Dover to double sales and investment in China

UNITED States industrial conglomerate Dover Corp says it plans to double sales and investment in China over the next three years, banking on growth in one of the world's most resilient markets.

China sales accounted for US$400 million of Dover's US$7.6 billion global revenue last year.

The diversified manufacturer of industrial products has already invested about US$152 million in China.

"In coming years, I want revenue from outside North America to be greater than 50 percent, and a significant part of that international growth we expect to come from China," Chief Executive Robert Livingston said in Shanghai yesterday.

New York-based Dover derived 56 percent of its revenue from the US in 2008, its annual report showed.

Livingston was in Shanghai for the opening of Dover's China regional headquarters, the company's first such base outside the US.

The maker of products ranging from pumps and valves to supermarket equipment and electronics assembly tools has a long history as an acquirer of niche manufacturing companies.

It bought four companies for US$103.8 million last year and seven firms for US$273.6 million in 2007. In 2006, Dover spent US$1.1 billion for seven companies, the biggest string of takeovers in its history.

The slowdown in acquisitions in 2007 and 2008 mainly reflected high valuations, said Livingston, who took over as CEO last December. He said valuations were still high but are moderating in the industrial sector. "Over the next three years, we believe we have the capacity to spend about US$1.5 billion," Livingston said of the company's appetite for acquisitions.

In China, the business will be primarily supported by organic growth rather than acquisitions, he said.


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