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ECI buys Kelvin Hughes

  • Friday, 16 November 2007 | News

UK private equity group ECI Partners LLP has acquired Kelvin Hughes in a "52 million transaction from Smiths Group PLC.

The purchase price comprises "48 million which was paid in cash on completion of the purchase and a deferred payment of up to "4 million depending on certain conditions being satisfied.

Senior members of Kelvin Hughes management also invested alongside ECI, becoming shareholders in the business.

Following the transaction, Kelvin Hughes says it will increase its investment in technological innovations and product development to further strengthen its position in the navigation technology market.

ECI says it is backing the existing management team led by Russell Gould, managing director, and that the growth of the business will be driven through both organic expansion and acquisitions.

The private equity group pointed to the company's SharpEye radar technology as one of the innovations it sees as a key component of the company's portfolio.

"Kelvin Hughes has developed an extremely impressive product in SharpEye," said Ken Lindsay, ECI.

"It has been developed by military radar experts and represents a step change in terms of performance and cost effectiveness far in advance of other radar products available today. This product is creating enormous excitement in the marine sector."

Russell Gould, Kelvin Hughes managing director, added: "This is an exciting time for everyone at Kelvin Hughes. With ECI's support we are extremely well placed to build on our current position as a world leading producer of navigation technology."

"The sector we operate in is growing due to the increasingly legislative environment affecting the marine industry, and we feel that we are ready and equipped to capture the market opportunity."

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