SKF has expanded its bearings business with the acquisition of S2M, a European manufacturer of specialised magnetic bearings and motors.

SKF has purchased the S2M business from UK based Edwards, by increasing its shareholding of 12% in S2M to 100% with an investment of approximately €55m.

Founded in 1976 and now with an annual turnover of around £27m, S2M has its headquarters and manufacturing centre in France, where the company employs around 200 people in the design, development and production of magnetic bearings and high-speed motors.

The company's latest contact-free magnetic bearings are used in applications that include vacuum pumps, small air and gas compressors, turbo expanders and compressors for the oil and gas, semiconductor and aerospace industries.

SKF's Chief Executive, Tom Johnstone, said that the electromagnetic technologies developed by S2M are extremely interesting and fast developing.

'In recent years these have grown from their development phase and are now considered a reliable option in many different applications,' said Johnstone. 'The acquisition will therefore give SKF access to a new and exciting range of products that complement our existing magnetic, plain, ball and rolling bearings, and bearing units and housings'.