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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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