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RICARDO ACQUIRES FFD

 DETROIT, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ricardo has added substantially to its vehicle engineering capabilities with the acquisition, announced Tuesday, of FF Developments Ltd., of Coventry in the UK, and Livonia, Michigan in the USA. The acquisition complements ideally the skills and experience Ricardo has already built up in automotive powertrain design and development. It gives further strong emphasis to Ricardo's growing commitment to both World and North American automotive industries, supporting our declared objective of being able to offer to major vehicle manufacturers a complete service in driveline engineering and chassis development.
 FFD was founded in 1971 by Tony Rolt, the Jaguar Le Mans driver of the 1950s, in order to promote the acceptance of the advanced technologies pioneered by Harry Ferguson, particularly permanent all- wheel-drive, the viscous coupling and the practical application of ABS braking systems. FFD's principal activities today are transmissions engineering (with particular emphasis on real independent capabilities to automatic transmission engineering), chassis engineering (at present mainly serving the Detroit automotive industry), transmission manufacturing and limited slip differentials for motorsport. They have also been granted an exclusive license for the Ricardo Differential for competition applications. FFD transmissions are being supplied to Jaguar for the XJ220, the MacLaren F1 and current Ford World Championship Rally Escorts.
 FFD's gross sales in 1993 were $25m and they employ 220 people -- 80 in Coventry and 140 in Detroit. The acquisition, for $21m, will be partly funded by a Rights Issue and is subject to the agreement of shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on June 23, 1994.
 Ricardo Group Chief Executive Christopher Ross comments: "We are delighted to have made this acquisition -- FFD is a perfect fit for Ricardo and is already a household name in the industry. It adds significantly to the Group's capabilities and greatly enhances our ability to execute comprehensive vehicle contracts for our manufacturing clients."
 -0- 6/8/94
 /CONTACT: Chris Talwar, 810-380-6440, Tony Lowe, 708-789-0003, both of Ricardo; or Jim Rusnack of FF Developments, 313-522-0490/


CO: Ricardo North America; FF Developments, Ltd. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: TNM

TO -- DE024 -- 4612 06/08/94 15:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 8, 1994
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