Rheinmetall takes Laingsdale off Tellumat

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Rheinmetall Waffe Munition (RWM) and Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) have purchased Laingsdale Engineering of Cape Town from Tellumat for an undisclosed sum.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price, a joint media release issued this afternoon avers. Laingsdale Engineering has about 180 employees and had sales in FY 2009 of approximately €10 million (about R96 million at today’s exchange rate). The company expects to see its business volume double from the current figure, the statement adds. “This strong rate of growth promises to make the company a very profitable investment for its shareholders over the next few years.”

Laingsdale Engineering has for the last 29 years “focused its expertise and technology on fuzes, safe-and-arming devices, kinetic energy weapons and a variety of naval applications.” Its current range includes fuzes for low velocity and high velocity 40mm grenades; 60mm, 81mm and 120mm mortar bombs; 76mm naval fuzes; the 76mm HE shell of the Rooikat armoured car; the HE round for the Olifant 105 mm tank gun; and fuzes for the ammunition fired by the G5 and G6 long-range guns as well as other 155mm systems. Other products include 76mm sabots (for the armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot projectile used by the Rooikat) various safe and arm devices, and small precision components for the electronics and other industries.

It is Rheinmetall’s second acquisition in South Africa. In September 2008 the company took a 51% stake in state arsenal Denel’s munitions business for an undisclosed figure, establishing RDM. “We are excited about this acquisition which will enhance and grow our business in South Africa”, said RDM CE Norbert Schulze. “We have acquired a highly successful company which we have been working with for many years and with great success.”

RWM will have a majority interest of 51% in the new company, with Rheinmetall Denel Munition holding the remaining 49% share. “The transaction is subject to certain conditions which are expected to be fulfilled shortly.” The bulk of Laingsdale Engineering business is currently with RDM.

The joint statement adds Rheinmetall sees this latest expansion and strategic alliance as central to its business growth in South Africa in coming years. “The new skills and capability base it is acquiring in precision mechanical manufacturing will enhance Rheinmetall’s current indigenous ammunition products.”



Pic: A selction of 40mm fuzes