Gould Electronics, Inc.'s Circuit Protection Group, Newburyport, Mass., has agreed to be acquired by Groupe Carbone Lorraine, Paris for $143 million in cash. The Gould Shawmut Circuit Protection Group would be merged with Ferraz, Groupe Carbone Lorraine's electrical protection business, to become Ferraz Shawmut.

Gould Shawmut has for years battled with industry leader Bussmann, St. Louis, a division of Cooper Industries, for a share of the North Americas standard power fuse market for motor protection, general electrical distribution and standard UL-type fuses. Gould Shawmut also is strong in fuses for the semiconductor-protection market, and the acquisition would allow the new company to sell some of Ferraz's ultra-rapid fuses for the semiconductor market in North America, as well as new international markets for Gould Shawmut. Gould executives said the acquisition would significantly expand the company's business around the globe.

Groupe Carbone Lorraine, with $650 million in annual sales, produces brushes for electrical motors and permanent magnets as well as carbon and graphite specialties.

Gould Shawmut plans no changes in how it goes to market with manufacturers' reps, though its reps may have access to a broader range of product. Ferraz manufactures lots of fuses, including high-voltage fuses for the utility market, that are not currently available from Gould Shawmut.