A NORTH-EAST electronics firm has secured an £8m deal to maintain its growth.

Stadium Group, in Hartlepool, has acquired United Wireless.

Bosses say the agreement for United, which makes electronics for the wireless sector, will allow it to expand its technology division, which supplies products for power supplies, interfaces and displays.

Loading article content

Stadium already designs and makes specialist digital displays and printed circuit boards, with United’s equipment used to increase connections between wireless devices, such as mobile phones.

Bosses say they will pay an initial £6m for United, which employs 40 workers, with £5m in cash and £1m in shares.

It will make an additional earn-out payment of up to £1.3m in Stadium shares and £600,000 through loan notes if United exceeds earn-out targets.

Charlie Peppiatt, Stadium Group’s chief executive, said the move would give the company an extra dimension as it bids to build on stronger trading.

He said: “This acquisition establishes us as a credible player in the fast growing market for machine-to-machine wireless devices.

“The successful integration of United will deliver the next step of our strategy to become a design-led electronics business by adding wireless connectivity to our integrated technology.”

“Trading in the first half of the year was in line with management expectations and significantly ahead of the same period last year and we remain confident about prospects for the year.”

The move comes just months after Stadium made its Hartlepool site the company’s headquarters for European operations.

Stadium’s presence in the town was strengthened when it closed a sister factory in Rugby, Warwickshire, and moved work to the region.

About 50 jobs were switched to the Brenda Road offices where more than 160 people now work.

Its Asian activities are centred in Guangong Province, China, and an office in Hong Kong.

Mr Peppiatt previously told The Northern Echo the changes were important to keep the firm at the forefront of the industry.

He added: “Without the restructure, we would have made losses, so it was a pretty simple decision to make.

“We can now offer a one-stop shop for the integration of the power supply at the back of a device, the electronic intelligence in the centre, and the interface and display at the front.

“Ever since the launch of the iPhone everybody focuses on the user experience.

“That revolution is well advanced in tablets and mobile phones and it is now starting to take a grip in the industrial equipment and instrumentation sector as well.”