This just hit my inbox – SawStop to be Acquired by TTS Tooltechnic Systems, Company to Continue to Operate Separately.
TTS Tooltechnic Systems is parent company to Festool and Tanos (Systainers). I haven’t found a reliable online source that lists their other companies, if any.
So… Festool buying SawStop? Well, it’s Festool’s parent company that’s acquiring SawStop, but in my mind I see it as Festool doing the acquiring.
This also likely means that Festool (TTS Tooltechnic Systems) is buying up the patents that are currently preventing some other brands from bringing competitive products to the market in the USA.
See Also: SawStop vs. Bosch Reaxx
Did you know that Bosch pays Tanos a licensing fee in order to market their L-Boxxes in the USA? At the back of Bosch L-Boxxes, and presumably Sortimo L-Boxxes as well (Sortimo is Bosch’s OEM partner and makes all L-Boxxes), there’s a raised message: Licensed by TTS Tooltechnic Systems.
After being initially shocked at the news, this is the first thing I thought of. Will Festool/their parent company license SawStop tech to other brands?
Here’s the meat of the press release:
Tualatin, Oregon – June 26, 2017: SawStop today announced the acquisition of SawStop, LLC by TTS Tooltechnic Systems, a third-generation family-owned company based in Wendlingen, Germany. The TTS family of companies includes Festool, Tanos, Cleantec and others, and employs more than 2,500 people around the globe.
“We are proud to join a company with a shared passion for customer safety, product quality and meticulous engineering,” said SawStop’s President, Dr. Stephen Gass. “Speaking for our entire team in Tualatin, Oregon and across North America, we are excited to join with TTS to bring safer woodworking to more people through new tools and in new markets around the world. With a family like TTS at our side, I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together.”
The acquisition is expected to be completed in July 2017. SawStop’s current management team will continue to operate the company out of its Oregon headquarters.
Both SawStop and TTS are private companies, and so there’s no obligation for them to discuss acquisition terms or dollar amounts.
Perhaps Festool wanted to bring injury-mitigation technologies to market, and they decided it would be more cost-effective to make an offer for SawStop, rather than to develop their own tech or license SawStop’s.
There are a lot of questions, but not a lot of answers.
All we really know is that Festool’s parent company is buying SawStop, and that’s a very big deal.
What do you think this will mean for Festool, SawStop, and competitors of both brands?
Update: This is What Festool Says About Their SawStop Acquisition
Yesterday we talked a little about SawStop being acquired by Festool’s parent company. Since then, we saw a new press release by Festool USA, announcing the acquisition from their side of things.
There’s one part that stands out to me most: The newly acquired technology, which TTS will continue to develop together with the SawStop team, supports these priorities and prepares TTS to face stricter safety requirements that are likely to be imposed on power tools.
Here’s the full text:
TTS Tooltechnic Systems signed Purchase Agreement to acquire US enterprise SawStop, LLC, thus expanding the TTS range of products to table saws and enhancing the company’s expertise to further safeguard operator safety. SawStop, LLC is a US manufacturer of high-quality saws headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon near Portland, USA that offers unmatched safety technology. Active Injury Mitigation (AIM) is a pioneering technology that prevents saw operators from suffering serious cuts and wounds by stopping the blade within only a few milliseconds if the saw blade comes in contact with the operator’s skin.
For TTS and the company’s subsidiaries, it has always been a top priority to deliver precision results with maximum operator protection. The newly acquired technology, which TTS will continue to develop together with the SawStop team, supports these priorities and prepares TTS to face stricter safety requirements that are likely to be imposed on power tools.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in July 2017. SawStop will be integrated into the TTS group as a separate legal entity and both the name and brand will be preserved. The company’s current management team will continue to operate SawStop. The parties have agreed to refrain from disclosing the purchase price.
As we discussed last month, the US CPSC has proposed rulemaking on table saws and active injury-avoidance technology.
There have only been 17 public comments to date, some in support of the rulemaking, others against it. From what I can see, there is a strong likelihood of the rulemaking passing. There are strong arguments against the proposed rulemaking, but perhaps not enough to sway the Commission.
SawStop has a head start in the flesh-detection and active injury-mitigating table saw business, being the pioneer in that field. From what I can see based on my limited but growing experience with their jobsite saw, they know how to make good table saws.
Bosch has some experience with active injury-mitigation tech now as well, with their Reaxx saw.
With only 2 players on the field, competing brands are at a disadvantage if the CPSC does go through with the proposed rulemaking in short time.
Well, 2 players in theory, Bosch’s Reaxx was essentially kicked out of the USA market.
I’m sure that all of the major table brands are working on their own flesh-detection and active injury-mitigating designs, in preparation of several SawStop patents expiring in a few years. Or maybe a solution is ready in case they need to quickly put something to market.
That might be one nasty law fight – if the CSPC requires new table saws to have active injury-mitigation technology, but SawStop (now Festool or TTS with SawStop) seek to bar competing products from entry into the USA on patent infringement grounds as happened with the Bosch Reaxx.
I have a feeling that, if Festool/TTS’s SawStop’s acquisitions also include their patents, that there’s high potential for favorable licensing agreements – at least before the SawStop patents start to expire.
It’s hard to say – there’s nothing to go by, and this is something no brand representative could be expected to comment on.
In short, I can see why Festool wanted to acquire SawStop. It’s a good play. Sawstop had just under 40 million USD in sales revenue in 2016, and TTS earned EUR 580 million (~655 million USD).
Many power tool brands have the buying power to acquire SawStop, but given the history between SawStop and all the big players, it’s no surprise (in hindsight) that a deal like this was only made with an “outsider” like Festool.
What will this acquisition mean?
SawStop access to new talent (Festool engineers)? Festool access to flesh-detection and active injury mitigation technology? Festool table saws in the USA?
From Festool’s press release, it’s clear that SawStop will continue down their path, and it seems that Festool will seek to add active injury-mitigation tech to related products – perhaps new products.
What do you think will come from this acquisition?
Me? I’d love to see SawStop broaden the breadth of products. But I think it’s a greater chance that this opportunity will accelerate their development and improvement efforts.