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Japan’s Kuroda buys ballscrew-maker Jena Tec for £13.45m

07 November, 2012

Avingtrans, the UK-based precision engineering group, is selling its industrial division, consisting of the Jena Tec group of companies, to the Japanese precision engineering specialist, Kuroda Precision Industries, for £13.45m in cash. The deal will allow Avingtrans to focus on its aerospace and energy & medical divisions.

The Jena Tec business designs and manufactures precision linear and rotary motion components for the machine tool, automation and medical industries, mainly in Europe and North America. It has manufacturing sites in Germany, the UK and the US, and in the year to May 2012 generated revenues worth £11.8m and an EBIT of £1.3m.

Nottingham-based Avingtrans built up the industrial division from a series of small acquisitions which originally cost a total of around £4m. Jena Tec employs 178 people across its operations in Germany, the UK, USA and China, all of whom are expected to transfer to Kuroda. Its principal business is the design, production and servicing of ballscrews, spindles and linear actuation systems for automation and control of CNC machines and precision instrumentation.

Kuroda, with manufacturing facilities in Japan, China and Malaysia, designs and manufactures precision components and systems including ballscrews, press tools, gauges, tool-holding systems, machine tools and measuring systems. Since 1925, Kuroda has served industries including automotive, machine tool, semi-conductor, automation, and electronics, mainly in Asia.

Avingtrans chief executive Steve McQuillan says that “whilst Avingtrans is in the enviable position of having three solid, profitable businesses, our overall size and corporate structure has meant that we have been unable to invest in each of the businesses to the degree that we would like and thereby maximise the opportunities available in each of our divisions.

“The sale of Jena Tec provides us with a more focused business and the proceeds will allow us to invest for future growth,” he adds. “We are very proud of all that we have achieved with Jena Tec during our stewardship, including consistently improved sales and profitability. We believe it is well-positioned to continue on this growth path under its new owners and we wish our friends there, the employees and Kuroda all the very best for the future. ”

Jena Tec’s operations will continue as before with the existing directors remaining in place. The takeover will allow both brand names to develop, while synergies between the groups will allow “significant” growth to be achieved globally using their combined resources.

Jena Tec’s divisional managing director Paul Ward has welcomed the deal, saying that “the positive elements that both companies can share, when combined, are significant”. He adds that the deal supports the expansion plans identified by both groups of companies. “The commitment, interest and shared historical background of Kuroda and Jena Tec in producing high-precision products in a competitive global marketplace will continue to benefit our customers, employees and shareholders and secure our successful continued growth in the future.”

Kuroda’s president, Hiroshi Kuroda, says he is “very pleased” with Jena Tec joining his group. “Jena Tec and Kuroda share commitment to precision manufacturing, skilled employees and long-term relationship with our customers. Jena Tec’s high-quality precision products and customer base ideally complements with those of Kuroda,” he adds. “By combining our resources and competencies, we can better serve our global customers with a wider range of products and solutions. I am excited about the wonderful growth opportunities lying ahead of us.”

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