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German cartel office gives ATB the go-ahead to buy LSE

25 June, 2007

The German cartel office has given the Austrian motor manufacturer ATB the green light to buy the Norwich motor-maker Laurence Scott & Electromotors (LSE) from the administrators. The deal had to be referred to the cartel office because of the large share of the German motors market that ATB already holds through its Schorch subsidiary.

"We can now close the acquisition in the next few days and start to get the company back to normal," says ATB’s chief executive, Christian Schmidt. The company will, in future, be known as ATB Laurence Scott.

"LSE is a first-class company, with a skilled workforce and excellent products," says Schmidt. "It fits perfectly into our international network of electric motor manufacturers. Laurence Scott and its home base Norwich will play a key role in our global footprint.

"We love British engineering," Schmidt adds, "and we strongly believe that Laurence Scott can prosper within a short period of time."

In an exclusive interview with Drives & Controls, Schmidt has pledged to keep the company in Norwich. ATB is negotiating with FKI – a former owner of LSE, which still owns its Gothic Works site – about extending the site lease, which is due to expire next April.

Schmidt also says that sales at one of ATB’s other UK subsidiaries, the troubled motor-maker Brook Crompton, are starting to pick up again after plummeting for several years. He adds that production problems at Brook Crompton’s Polish factory have been overcome and that lead times have been cut to "a couple of weeks".

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