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12 April, 2006 - 09:39 By Staff Reporter

Green for go as US acquirer funds growth

A United States manufacturing giant is promising to bankroll global expansion for a Bedford environmental technologies company acquired in a multi-million pound deal.

A United States manufacturing giant is promising to bankroll global expansion for a Bedford environmental technologies company acquired in a multi-million pound deal.

IDEAL Industries, a Chicago-headquartered corporation, has taken over Casella Measurement Ltd, a UK specialist in environmental services and technologies, and is promising investment to fund growth on both sides of the Atlantic.

IDEAL, which employs over 1,000 people worldwide, is one of the US’s largest manufacturers of wire connectors and makes a wide range of electrical tools and supplies, along with electrical and telecoms test equipment.

This is its first foray into environmental instrumentation and it has lofty ambitions for Casella.

Roger Smith, VP of corporate development, who negotiated the deal, said IDEAL had paid “a few million pounds cash for Casella. We’re both private businesses so the exact amount is not being disclosed but our plans for the business are certainly exciting.

“We aim to invest heavily in Casella so it can extend its product range, push right across European territories on our behalf and target global growth.

“This will involve increasing its sales in the United States and targeting the Far East and Middle East. China would seem to be a natural market for Casella’s products and we can help through our bases on China’s mainland and in Hong Kong.”

Smith said IDEAL also liked the history of Casella, whose origins can be traced back to 1799. The Bedford company’s early customers included Charles Darwin and Dr David Livingstone who used many of the early Casella products on their travels of discovery.

“It certainly demonstrates a track record and we like the fit,” said Smith. “Casella is over 200 years old and we were founded in 1916. We are first and foremost a manufacturer but were looking for opportunities to spread our interests in new areas of manufacturing.

“Casella is a top company but environmental test equipment is new to us so we have decided to let Casella get on with what it does best.

“There will be no restructuring and all businesses will continue to trade as normal. It is clear that Casella couldn’t expand without a fairly significant injection of cash and we are providing that.

“This is the fourth acquisition in the test and measurement area for IDEAL in the last five years and our third in Europe during the same period.”

Casella Measurement employs 130 staff and comprises Casella CEL, the leading manufacturer of health and safety monitoring products; Casella ETi, the leading supplier of Air Quality systems and services; Monitor Europe, manufacturer of ambient gas analysers, Darwin Hire, Casella USA and Casella Espana.


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