The Milton Keynes-based control, automation and image processing systems manufacturer the Harland Simon Group Plc is to acquire Crosfield Press Controls Ltd and Crosfield Ebway Ltd from De La Rue Plc for UKP6.5m cash, which together with a further UKP7.5m, will be raised through a one for five rights issue. The balance of the cash raised will be used for further working capital for Crosfield and leave the group in a position to make further acquisitions as opportunities arise. Press Controls produces electronic and electro-mechanical control equipment, while Ebway was merged with Crosfield’s North American operation by De La Rue in 1988 and sells both Crosfield and Ebway printing control products. The acquisitions will mean that Harland can focus on new markets such as specialist colour printing, magazines, regional and small newspapers. Over the year the group saw pre-tax profits up 52% to just over UKP8m on turnover up 49% to UKP61m. It performed extremely well overseas with sales of UKP25m, representing 41% of turnover, coming from abroad compared with UKP500,000 of business, or 5% of turnover when the Group floated in 1987. Indeed, foreign business continues to grow, since, just after year end, Harland landed a UKP10m contract with the Toronto Star to supply the drives, controls and press management systems for what will be Canada’s largest web offset printing plant. Further sales are expected from this source in future years.