Thwarted in its plans to seek a Stock Exchange quotation first by a couple of very lacklustre years of business and latterly by Meltdown Monday, DRI Holdings Plc, the Data Recording disk drive and printer and Newbury Laboratories display manufacturing group has decided instead to sell the business to a powerful partner and an announcement that the buyer is to be electrical engineer FKI Babcock Plc is thought to be imminent. Babcock – or rather FKI, which acquired the manufacturer of transformers, electrical switchgear and other power generation equipment, has a strategy of analysing a possible target by defining the gross margin that could be expected in its business, examining how far short the company is falling, and making a bid if it believes the target margin can be achieved. At Babcock, it has shed 4,100 jobs and closed 25 sites, achieving cost savings of UKP50m a year. DRI is substantially the largest British-owned dedicated manufacturer of perpherals, doing annual turnover of some UKP60m, and is marginally profitable.
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