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VME BOARD BUILDER PLESSEY MICROSYSTEMS BECOMES RADSTONE IN MANAGEMENT BUYOUT

Having expressed disappoinment with the results of its microelectronics and components division, Plessey Co Plc yesterday afternoon announced that part of the business – Plessey Microsystems – was to go in a management buyout. The company, now known as Radstone Technology Ltd, will be headed by former managing director Dr Charles Paterson and funding was supplied by a syndicate of investors led by 3i. Based in Towcester, Northamptonshire, Radstone employs 410 staff and supplies OEM microcomputer products for commercial, industrial and military/aerospace applications, and last October introduced a single board computer based on Motorola’s 68030 processor (CI No 796). In its four years of operation it has captured a large part of the VMEbus market, becoming the largest UK manufacturer and claiming number three worldwide. The company has been a leading supplier to NATO defence programmes, particularly within the UK, and Dr Paterson stressed that links with Plessey will not be broken, saying that Radstone will continue to be a major supplier of commercial and military products for Plessey’s defence and telecom systems. Neither party was willing to discuss how much the deal was worth, but Plessey Microsystems turned in a small loss on turnover of UKP25m for the year to April 1, and has assets of some UKP10m. Plessey results and discussion – p5.

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