Memory and accessories distributor Simms has bought industrial flash memory provider Jactron for £1.2m.
The 19-year-old business specialises in industrial grade flash and solid state disk drives for military, electronics and aviation businesses. As a strong brand in this niche, it will continue to trade as Jactron, but as a division of Simms International.
Alex Tatham, managing director of Simms, was excited at the prospect of acquiring the importer of ruggedised memory products.
“We are getting a customer base to die for. The people who buy from Jactron will keep coming back for 10 years. Jactron has got a fantastic name in this well-defined niche,” said Tatham.
Jactron imports ruggedised memory products from Taiwanese vendors such as Pretec and Apro. The technology ends up being used in extreme conditions, such as the nose cone of a jet, an oil rig, or the black box of a plane. Jactron, which was established in 1989, will retain its managing director, Alan Blyth, as a consultant, post acquisition.
“I am thrilled,” said Blyth. “The company I founded will flourish at Simms. We worked hard to develop a niche business and the demand for such products is growing all the time. Simms will provide the fertile environment that will foster the next stage in Jactron’s growth.”
Solid state technology can survive in temperatures ranging from minus 40 to 85 centigrade, making it ideal for extreme conditions. Since it does not need cooling, it uses less power than normal media, making it attractive to green consumers.
Though solid state media is priced at about £200 for 643 gigabytes, and the equivalent industrial product would cost more than £1,000, Tatham said he is confident that this would become a mass market soon, and that Simms was positioning itself to profit from the opportunity.
“Prices are coming down all the time. They will be half their current level by Christmas,” he said. “By 2011 there will be more solid state storage sold than traditional storage.
Brendan Sansom, an 18-year veteran at Jactron, is now the industrial sales manager for the specialist distributor. He admitted to being triumphant at the new powers given to his sales efforts.
“We were a family run business, where everyone got involved in everything, and now suddenly we have got this powerful marketing team and professional support,” he said. “It is going to create some great new opportunities.”
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