BICC sells Vero Electronics to management for pounds 33m

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BICC is selling a small electronic packaging subsidiary to its management to focus on its main cable-making and construction activities, writes Tom Stevenson.

As well as packaging for electronic systems, Southampton-based Vero Electronics makes power supplies and circuit boards in the UK, Europe and the US. Sales in 1993 were pounds 66m and operating profits pounds 3m. It has a workforce of 1,200.

According to Brian Gay, who rejoined Vero last year after working for the company for 22 years until 1987, Vero controls 30 per cent of the UK market with a 15 per cent share in Europe.

'As an independent group we are now in a position to step up investment at home and overseas. Our customers, suppliers and employees can now at last be assured of our future.'

He said 40 per cent of sales went to the telecommunications and computer industries.

The pounds 33m buyout is backed by Candover Investments and Mercury Development Capital. A pounds 2m deferred payment is due after five years.

BICC, which last month announced a 65 per cent jump in pre- tax profits and paid an uncovered dividend for the third successive year, will use the proceeds to reduce debt.