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TMCNet:  Exporter of THEYEAR makes key acquisition ; ACQUISITIONS [Newcastle Journal (England)]

[June 09, 2014]

Exporter of THEYEAR makes key acquisition ; ACQUISITIONS [Newcastle Journal (England)]

(Newcastle Journal (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THE LEADING light from the North East Exporters Awards has strengthened its growth plan by acquiring one of its prominent suppliers.

Ashington-based A-Belco Group - overall winner at last month's Journal-backed awards, has announced the acquisition of Opsol UK, the world-class electronics design and manufacturing business, for an undisclosed sum.

In a classic example of vertical integration, the Pounds 22m turnover A-Belco Group has strengthened its supply chain with the acquisition of the Pounds 3.2m annual turnover Opsol, a move which will open up new markets for both Northumberland rms. 150-strong A- Belco manufactures lights, which come under the rm's Hadar Lighting brand, created speci cally for hazardous areas which have a high risk of ignition, such as oil rigs and underground mines, and use less energy than traditional lighting.


Opsol, meanwhile, was established 12 years ago in Cramlington by Malcolm Humble, to design and manufacture a complete range of circuit boards for blue chip clients across a range of market sectors.

~e rm manufactures for markets including rail and highway signage, education, security, medical and heating and last year made its own acquisition, when the rm bought the rights to make the MP3 teaching aid StoryPhone.

~e rm had previously been mak-mak ing the product on behalf of Hartlepool-headquartered Ameeca but voluntary liquidators were appointed when Ameeca fell into nancial di(TM)culties. No longer manufacturing the Storyphone could ultimately have impacted on Opsol's own future, prompting Humble to take on the manufacturing rights.

Both Opsol and A-Belco agreed that the acquisition not only safeguards all existing jobs within the South East Northumberland area, but also enhances prospects for future growth in employment within the expanded group.

Brian Trench, chief executive of the A-Belco Group, said: "We have dealt with Malcolm and the Opsol team for many years and the company is a perfect t for ourselves to boost the design and manufacture of our hazardous area lighting, including the very latest generation of LED products.

"However, it is not only their design capability that is attractive to the group, but also their ability to supply components into numerous sectors where we see potential markets for the group. In addition, of course, it secures our supply chain and allows us to manage design and manufacture from concept to nal production." Malcolm Humble added: "Opsol will now have the security of being part of the A-Belco Group with its global presence and distribution network which will enable us to access completely new markets and new sectors. Joining the group at this exciting time in their growth and development therefore makes a great deal of sense for both parties and we're all looking forward to working closely together." This will enable us to access completely new markets and new sectorsMalcolm Humble (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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