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MTL goes wireless by buying Elpro for AU$28.5m

20 May, 2007

UK-based MTL Instruments has bought the Australian wireless technology specialist Elpro International for AU$28.5m (£12m). Elpro’s management team has supported the acquisition and is staying with the company.

Elpro develops and manufactures wireless communications products for transmitting and receiving plant data in the manufacturing, process control, and utility markets. In the year to 30 June 2006, it achieved a pre-tax profit of AU$1.2m (£0.5m) on sales of AU$8.2m (£3.4m). Its gross assets at 30 June 2006 amounted to AUD$8.6m (£3.6m).

MTL says that Elpro is "an excellent complementary fit" with its own activities as a supplier of electronic instrumentation and protection equipment, primarily for the process control and telecommunications industries. Elpro will complement MTL`s open control components portfolio and add wireless capability to its product range at a time when end-users are looking to add more measurement points on their plants without incurring the expense of extra wiring.

"We are delighted to have been able to acquire Elpro," says MTL chief executive, Graeme Philp. "Wireless technology is forming an increasingly important part of the signal and data communication layer on modern process plants. MTL is already a leading supplier of components for this communication layer and now, with the addition of Elpro, we can provide interconnect solutions using all major technologies, including traditional analogue, Foundation Fieldbus, industrial Ethernet, optical and wireless. This acquisition positions MTL well for continued growth and success in this important area."

It is expected that the deal will help Elpro to extend its international customer base by using MTL`s sales channels and OEM relationships. It will also improve Elpro`s purchasing power.

Until recently, the industrial wireless market has been seen as a specialised niche market. But independent market researchers are now predicting rapid growth as the wireless technology matures.

MTL believes that the Elpro acquisition will enhance its earnings in the first year of its ownership.

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