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Penny & Giles has a new US owner

01 April, 2002

Penny & Giles has a new American owner

The British conglomerate Spirent has sold its systems group, including Penny & Giles, to the US-based Curtiss-Wright corporation for $60m (£42m) in cash and the assumption of certain liabilities. The sell-off is in line with Spirent`s strategy to focus on its high-technology activities.

The businesses sold employ about 660 people in England, Wales, Germany and the US, involved in designing and manufacturing position sensors and control hardware for the industrial and aerospace markets. Last year the businesses generated an operating profit of £6.3m on combined revenues of £42.5m.

Penny & Giles` portfolio includes linear and rotary position sensors, motor speed controllers, and joysticks. Another part of the systems business is California-based Autronics whose range includes torque-sensing systems and power conversion products, particularly for aerospace applications.

Curtiss-Wright, based in New Jersey, manufactures and overhauls products for motion and flow control applications. Before the Spirent acquisition, it employed around 2,600 people.

"This acquisition is a solid complement to our motion control business segment, broadening our existing product and technology offerings to the aerospace and industrial markets we currently serve," says Martin Benante, Curtiss-Wright`s chief executive. "It also provides entry into new markets."

In a letter to customers, Penny & Giles Controls` managing director Joe Oatley says that the company`s directors feel it is "a positive step" for the company to be part of a business specialising in motion control. The new ownership will also provide a strong platform for expanding into the US market.

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