Control Instruments, parent company of Tripmaster Corporation, announced yesterday that it has acquired the business of Pi Technology in the UK for £5 million.
Pi Technology specializes in the design of a wide range of electronic products for the automotive industry, specifically in the areas of engine control systems, infotainment and information displays, alternative fuel applications (including hybrid technology), and body and suspension control electronics. It is based in Cambridge, England and has satellite offices in Frankfurt and Detroit.
Speaking at the announcement, Group MD, Richard Friedman said the acquisition is in line with Control Instruments’ strategy to globalise its businesses - we focus on niche markets in the global automotive industry and our customers are global: it follows that the Group needs to be where its customers are and where they make their decisions.
Friedman said that Pi Technology has grown rapidly from a start-up business approximately 14 years ago and today employs 90 engineers, the majority of whom have high-grade technical degrees as well as many years of experience in systems engineering, and hardware, software and electronic design for the automotive industry.
One in four US heavy trucks use engine control systems designed by Pi Technology and millions of motor vehicles worldwide incorporate architectures, electronics and software designs from Pi Technology.
Friedman added that Pi Technology’s excellent reputation and working relationship with all the major international OEMs offers the Group a tremendous springboard into the international OEM automotive industry. “And we know it works, the partnership between Control Instruments Shurlok and Pi Technology has been tested and orders for instrument and information displays and engine control units have already been received from two major international OEMs with additional business in the pipeline”.
“Acquiring Pi Technology was a logical step and combining the two companies allows the Group to expand its global OEM business using a solid and well regarded international base that is profitable and cash positive.”
Friedman said that Control Instruments Shurlok and Pi Technology will be run as one business with the management and staff of both companies being retained. Sales, marketing, new business and product development will be managed out of the UK, the USA and Europe. All the manufacturing, certain engineering functions and customer support for South African OEMs will continue to be based in South Africa.
This is Control Instruments’ second international acquisition this year - in March the Group announced its acquisition of 51% of the shares in Tripmaster Corporation in the United States for US$3.5 million. Tripmaster is a leading supplier of high-end onboard computers to the North American trucking market and recently started selling the Group’s FM products through its distribution channels. Tripmaster has obtained its first major order for the Group’s products with the sale of approximately 1 200 units to an American customer.
The share price closed at R5.25 yesterday.
Control Instruments Group Limited
Control Instruments develops, manufactures and distributes products and services into niche sectors of the worldwide automotive industry. Its activities are focussed on fleet management systems; high quality, branded aftermarket products; and technical components used by the original equipment vehicle manufacturers (OEMs).
The Group’s overall aim is to globalise its operations in its selected areas in order to maximise its growth opportunities.
The Group has been listed on the JSE Limited since 1987, trading under the share code “CNL”. It employs approximately 1 650 people.
About Pi Technology
Pi Technology (pitechnology.com) is a world leader in the development of automotive electronic systems, providing product development, engineering services and specialised test equipment as well as consultancy to original equipment motor manufacturers. Pi Technology has grown rapidly from a start-up business approximately 14 years ago.
Products offered by Pi Technology include a wide range of electronic modules for power train, infotainment and alternative fuel applications. It has considerable experience in development projects such as systems engineering, advanced technology demonstrators, production designs and fast-track projects where time-scales are tight and milestones important.
One in four US heavy trucks use engine control systems and millions of motor vehicles worldwide incorporate architectures, electronics and software designs designed by Pi Technology. Pi Technology’s customers include many of the leading vehicle manufacturers and their Tier 1 suppliers, such as Ford Motor Company (specifically Aston Martin and Jaguar), General Motors, DCX, Visteon, Delphi, Denso, Hella, and Bosch.
Pi Technology’s main office is in Cambridge, England and it has satellite offices in Detroit, USA and Frankfurt, Germany. Pi Technology employs 90 engineers - the majority of whom have high-grade technical degrees as well as many years of experience in automotive electronics, systems engineering and hardware/software design.