Today in Cleantech

Looks like the bidding war for smart meter giant Landis+Gyr is over — and Toshiba is the announced winner. The Japanese conglomerate has agreed to buy the Swiss-based smart grid firm for $2.3 billion, Reuters reported this morning. That’s a little less than the $2.48 billion offer anonymous sources reported Toshiba had bid for the company earlier this month, but more than the reported $2 billion bid from General Electric in late April — again, reported via anonymous sources. Other sources named Honeywell and ABB as potential bidders as well, but this morning’s announcement would appear to make Toshiba the official winner. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approval. What does Toshiba get with the purchase? Well, Landis+Gyr is one of the Big Five smart meter companies in the world (the others are GE, Itron, Sensus and Elster), and has a huge list of projects and customers that Toshiba — itself a major player in nuclear power and grid systems — might want for itself. Adding L+G’s deep smart metering expertise — as well as its grid communications and controls systems — to Toshiba’s portfolio could yield the kind of grid-spanning technology to allow it to compete against the likes of GE and Siemens, or perhaps on its home turf against the partnership between Hitachi and Panasonic to build smart grid systems that link power generation and end users in a complete network.