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U.K Industrial Firm Completes Purchase Of Jones & Shipman.

Renold P.L.C., a U.K.-based engineering, chains, and power-transmission group, has now acquired the whole of the business of grinding-machinery builder Jones & Shipman P.L.C. (Leicester, U.K.) for [pound]5.14-million (around $8.3-million) in a deal completed on January 9. Renold already had owned over 80% of J&S.

Hundred-year-old J&S, along with Goodwin Electronics, a U.K. controls company, and Edgetek (Meriden, Conn.), an abrasive-machinery company, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Renold, within the engineering products division, under managing director Dr. Ronnie Kershaw.

No one at Renold's engineering products unit was prepared to comment on the extent of any financial support the group would offer to J&S or whether there might be a merging of Holroyd and J&S activities. A spokesperson at J&S said the company is looking for financial help from Renold to support future machine-tool-development programs.

Export-oriented J&S has an extensive R&D program, which has included a $3.2-million E.C.-funded collabortion with WZL Aachen, the machine-tool laboratory at Aachen (Germany) Univ. into the use of ultra-hard CBN for the automotive and aerospace industries

Weaker trading in the U.K. and Asian markets has hit Renold and J&S in recent months. However, Renold has experienced a turnaround in performance during the last few years and wants to grow through acquisition.

Operationally J&S remains an independent business in Leicester, occupying a prime downtown site, under managing director Alan Spears and retains its existing board of management. Chief executive of J&S, John Wareing, is due to retire in August.

In previous years, J&S had sought allegiances in continental Europe, and struck up a deal with the Germany's Korber group-Korber took a 25% share-but J&S withdrew in 1995 because of conflicts from Korber's grinder companies Schaudt and Blohm.

As regards Renold P.L.C., figures for the last fiscal year (ending March 1998) reveal a turnover of $294-million, profits of $18.2-million and 2,894 employees. For the same period, J&S had a turnover of $36-million, and it employs 340.

Charlotte Broadhead, an analyst with merchant bankers HKSB, said, "The machine-tool market is competitive and provides relatively low added value. This acquisition is not big enough to have an effect on the progression of Renold. We would welcome something on the industrial-chain side of the business where Renold is number one in Europe."

Reported by Mike Page in Cambridge and Sue Stuckey in London.
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Comment:U.K Industrial Firm Completes Purchase Of Jones & Shipman.
Publication:Metalworking Insiders' Report
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 18, 1999
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