16 February 2007

Energy Technique looks for growth

ENERGY Technique (ETQ), the holding company of Hampshire-based hvac manufacturer Diffusion, is said to be on the acquisition trail after turning around three years of financial losses, totalling nearly £6m.
In January 2006, company doctor James Lugg was brought in by Vincent Tchenguiz, chairman of Consensus Business Group (ETQ's largest shareholder), to evaluate and restructure ETQ and restore it to profitability.

In May 2006 the company launched a share placing to raise £1.325m to refinance the company. Lugg invested £250,000 in the placing. Following the placing Consensus holds 60% of the enlarged equity and Lugg 12%.

Lugg's immediate actions were to close ETQ's three loss making divisions, Diffusion DX, Lifebreath and UVGI, which had been hemorrhaging cash in the company's failed attempt at diversification and expansion.

Operations were refocused on the core business and the head count was reduced from over 100 to 75 personnel. This involved management restructuring - completing the cutting of the number of operating directors from seven to three - and production rationalisation - including the introduction of a second shift - together with a review of the supply chain.

These actions resulted in the company returning to profit in the six months to the end of September 2006.

Now the company is looking for acquisitions. 'A number of exciting opportunities have already been identified and I am open to approaches from businesses wishing to enter into exploratory discussions,' said James Lugg.

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