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Austria’s ATB buys Laurence Scott from adminstrators

11 June, 2007

ATB, the Austrian motor manufacturer which owns Brook Crompton, has stepped in to buy another well-known British motor-maker, Laurence Scott & Electromotors (LSE) from the administrators.

LSE is being bought by ATB’s UK subsidiary, ATB Morley – the Leeds-based mining motors specialist which it acquired in 2004. The deal is expected to be completed within two weeks. Financial terms for the takeover have not been revealed.

It is thought that there were three parties interested in acquiring LSE from the administrator Kroll, which was appointed to find a buyer two weeks ago after LSE ran into cashflow problems. One bidder is thought to have been the former owner, the US businessman George Clair, who rescued LSE from planned closure by FKI in 2005.

Christian Schmodt

"Laurence Scott & Electromotors is a premier brand, and enjoys an outstanding reputation in the oil and gas industry worldwide," says ATB chief executive, Christian Schmidt (above). "We see the company as a logical addition to our product portfolio and an appropriate link between ATB Morley and our German company, Schorch. This makes it the perfect bolt-on for the English market, where we have already been very successful.

"Our objective is higher EBIT margins for ATB Group, and this brings us a healthy step closer to our goal," Schmidt adds.

Since George Clair took over LSE, the company’s sales have risen around 40%, from €13.7m to €19.3m. LSE has an order book worth around €25m, but its cashflow problems led to the company being placed in administration on 8 May. The administrators subsequently dismissed 79 of the 197-strong workforce.

ATB expects to achieve a "significant" increase in sales and earnings at LSE in the current financial year.

Last year, ATB became the majority shareholder in Singapore-based Lindeteves-Jacoberg (LJ), which owns Brook Crompton. In the first quarter of this year, the group recorded a 69% surge in sales to €103.5m, driven by organic growth and the consolidation of LJ.

º  Drives & Controls has received a letter from two executives at Laurence Scott & Electromotors in the US, commenting on the recent developments in the company. The letter can be found here.

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