The American machinery industry has picked up speed recently as overall manufacturing has recovered. It's a noteworthy trend, given how big a player the U.S. is in the global machinery market. According to the Commerce Department, in 2010, a relatively weak year for the industry, the United States was still the largest market in the world for machinery, as well as the third-biggest supplier.
Private equity has shown a lot of interest in the space recently. Since the beginning of 2010, PE firms have backed 180 U.S.-based companies involved in the industry, according to the PitchBook Platform. The three-year span from 2010 to 2012 charts a 45-degree angle upward in terms of deal activity. Investors completed 69 deals in the industry in 2012, more than double its 2010 output. The trend is still going strong, too, considering more deals have been completed so far this year than in all of 2010.
Recent transaction amounts are high, as well. Compressor manufacturer Gardner Denver was acquired earlier this summer for about $3.9 billion. Neodyne Industries, which makes pumps and compressors for the industrial, infrastructure and energy markets, was carved out of United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) for $3.46 billion late last year.