Peek Plc, the Abingdon, Oxfordshire-based traffic and field data systems specialist that owns Husky Computers Ltd, maker of rugged handheld computers, has sold its Greenpar Connectors Ltd subsidiary and associated German distribution operation, Dubilier GmbH, to Wakefield, Massachusetts-based M/A-Com Inc for UKP2m cash. The move is described as a major step in the final stages […]
Peek Plc, the Abingdon, Oxfordshire-based traffic and field data systems specialist that owns Husky Computers Ltd, maker of rugged handheld computers, has sold its Greenpar Connectors Ltd subsidiary and associated German distribution operation, Dubilier GmbH, to Wakefield, Massachusetts-based M/A-Com Inc for UKP2m cash. The move is described as a major step in the final stages of the divestment of non-core activities. Greenpar, which was acquired by Peek in June 1988 when the group took over Dubilier International Plc, manufactures radio frequency connectors that are sold primarily to the telecommunications and computer markets. In 1990, it turned in UKP500,000 pre-tax profits on sales of UKP15.4m. It has 350 employees, a manufacturing base in Harlow as well as the sales and services facility in Dietzenbach in Germany, and Greenpar’s net assets amount to some UKP3m, after taking into account a UKP5m overdraft. M/A-Com specialises in the design and manufacture of radio frequency and microwave components, devices and subsystems for commercial and defence applications. It reported $31m net profits on $382m revenues in 1991 (CI No 1,800). It has some 4,500 staff and UK operations in Dunstable, Milton Keynes and Reading, Berkshire. Peek says the proceeds from the sale of Greenpar will be added to an already-strong balance sheet – UKP4.7m at December 31 putting the group in an excellent position to take advantage of the opportunities which will occur in (its) markets in 1992. Meanwhile, Peek’s financial position at the end of its 1991 financial year, which follows the calendar year, presents a mixed picture. Pre-tax profits were down 37% at just over UKP6m, net profits plunging 90% to UKP692,000, on revenues that rose 19% to just over UKP84m. The hefty drop in net profit follows UKP3.3m extraordinary charges this time, which comprise a UKP2.2m loss from the group’s withdrawal from the leisure marine business (CI No 1,789); UKP2.8m provision for the deferred consideration from a disposal in a prior year, and UKP942,000 provision for losses on the disposal of the radio frequency connector and test leads business – these items were only partly compensated for by a UKP2.9m gain on the disposal of the health and fitness division of Computer Instruments Corp (CI No 1,793).
Staff up to 1,484
Group staff levels are now around the 1,484 mark, up from 1,397 at the end of 1990, after the various acquisitions and disposals. Peek’s ownership is split between over 5,000 shareholders, 87% of which are in the UK. Institutional investors own 77%, Scottish Amicable Life Assurance Society holding the largest portion with just over 8%. Peek continues to focus its energies on growing its core traffic and field data systems business, boosting the former’s size with the acquisitions of Philips NV’s traffic-related activities and those of Ferranti International in the first half of last year. And, in January this year, Peek reached agreement to add to the pile the road traffic activities of Asea Brown Boveri’s EB Signal subsidiary, bringing in business leads in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Husky Computers, the parent company reports, is currently faced with an exciting new challenge, as the need and legislation for environmental monitoring of waste water and sewage intensifies. For the future, chairman Ken Maud says his company will, when the time is right, expand its activities in the Asia Pacific region, where he believes demand will show considerable growth in the medium-term. – Sue Norris