Williams buys US burner firm

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The Independent Online
Williams Holdings, the diversified manufacturer that last week promised to make acquisitions only in its core activities, has proved to be true to its word, writes Terence Wilkinson.

It has purchased Forney International, a supplier of burner management systems and products for the control of boilers and furnaces used mainly in the power generation industry, for dollars 41m ( pounds 28m).

Forney's burner management products will bolster those of Detector Electronics and Fireye, companies within Williams' fire protection division, which the company has identified as one of its core activities along with building products and security.

Based in Dallas, Texas, Forney made profits before interest and tax of dollars 3.9m on sales of dollars 49m in the year to 30 June. For the eight months to February it produced profits of dollars 2.9m on turnover of dollars 28m. Net assets at completion are expected to be dollars 12m after borrowings of dollars 9m.

Forney has an installed worldwide base of 3,000 systems.