BUSINESS: Unusual management buyout as firm is sold to founder’s sons

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Ferndown based electronics manufacturer has been sold by founders Ken Crook and Pip Arnold – to their sons.

Electronic Technicians Ltd (ETL) was founded by Ken Crook and Pip Arnold in 1984 on the Trinity Industrial Estate in Wimborne. They bought its current premises on Ferndown Industrial Estate in 1996 and then acquired the neighbouring factory in 2007. 

Managing Director Stuart Crook and Sales Director James Arnold are now in control of the multi-million-pound turnover company which boasts national and international customers. The third member of the management team is Operations Director Phil Scantlebury.

The company styles itself as ‘a total solution contract electronic manufacturer’. ETL works across the aerospace, automotive, defence, energy, marine and medical sectors. It manufactures the likes of flight recorders, navigational equipment, vehicle climate control systems, contamination monitoring equipment, rescue service equipment, sonar devices and DNA analysis products. 

Stuart Crook said: “We are looking for steady growth as we expand and modernise the business moving forward, offering an even more professional approach.” 

James Arnold said: “We are very much focused on customer satisfaction. We intend to continue to invest heavily in equipment, business tools, services and people, particularly with regard to apprenticeships.”

Ken and Pip will be still involved with the business as advisors, their experience ready to be called upon when required. Ken said: “It is great that the boys are carrying on the business because they know it so well and it keeps ETL as a family business. This progression deal secures the company’s future – it’s 36 years now so let’s hope for another 36.”

Pip added: “Technology has moved on an awful lot since Ken and I founded the business, but we keep up with it. The boys are stepping up to the plate and it is right for us to step back and for them to take over.”

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