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MTE joins the French group, Entrelec

01 September, 2000

MTE joins the French group, Entrelec

The French controls and connectors group Entrelec has bought the British motor control specialist MTE for an undisclosed sum. The business has been renamed Entrelec MTE and will continue to run under the same management team from its base at Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Entrelec`s existing UK operation, located in Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex, will operate independently.

Although there is some overlap in product ranges - both firms sell contactors, for example - they say that their ranges are "for the most part complementary". Graham Scott, Entrelec MTE`s sales and marketing director, says that the takeover is "very welcome", adding that one attraction of the deal is that "we can now use each other`s products".

The takeover could also boost MTE`s sales outside the UK, which at present account for just 15% of its business.

Scott points out that the two UK operations use different marketing routes with Entrelec MTE traditionally selling through distributors and Entrelec selling direct.

MTE was set up more than 50 years ago to produce motor starters and control panels for machine tools. It main area of activity now is equipment to start, stop, control and protect motors. It makes its own contactors, overloads, and electronic protection modules, which it uses in enclosed products such as starters, soft-starts, and DC injection brakes. It employs more than 80 people.

MTE`s former owner was the B Elliott group which has diversified in recent years from being a machine tool specialist to being a broad-based manufacturing services supplier. In 1998, Elliott was bought by a management team.

Entrelec`s global sales this year are expected to be around £135m and it has set itself the goal of doubling its sales every 5-7 years. Industrial connectors account for more than half of its business (53%), followed by electronic interface modules (23%); automation devices, including PLCs (18%) and domestic connectors (6%). Entrelec employs more than 1,800 people with around 40% of them being based in France and 25% in Germany.

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