Bray computer packaging firm takes equity stake in US company


ILP, the Bray-based computer packaging company which floated on the London stock exchange last year, is expanding into the US with the purchase of a 41.87 per cent stake in Mills Pacific Corporation. The consideration amounts to $251,230 (£157,000).

Mills Pacific, set up two years ago, is based in Portland, Oregon, and specialises in advanced packaging design and logistic controls. ILP is buying new shares, so the funds are going into Mills Pacific. The Portland company is profitable, said ILP finance director Mr Kevin Hogan. It is doing a lot of development work and is strong in design.

ILP noted the acquisition is part of its stated strategy of establishing a strong presence in strategic locations worldwide where electronic and original equipment manufacturers are concentrated.

Asked about the vulnerability in having a minority stake, Mr Hogan said the 41.87 per cent is "equal to the highest shareholder". Also, ILP will have a majority on the board. There are no agreements to buy out the majority shareholding, at the moment, he said.

The acquisition is subject to due diligence investigation as to its reasonable satisfaction", according to ILP. It is expected to be completed on or before February 10th.

ILP has just moved into its new manufacturing facility in Leixlip, Co Kildare. "We are bedding it down, at the moment", said Mr Hogan.

ILP gained a share quotation on the London Stock Exchange through A placing of shares last March. The placing was oversubscribed more than five times. The company was valued at £18 million on the first day's trading. ILP's shares are not quoted on the Irish Stock Exchange. The company is "keeping under review" the possibility of seeking an Irish listing but Mr Hogan stressed that no decision has been taken.

ILP recorded a pre-tax profit of £400,000 in the six months to June 30th 1996, somewhat lower than expected. The profits included the group's 50 per cent share in the start-up losses in Arco/ILP Mounding Teo and excluded its 15 per cent interest in Iretex Malaysia, as it was not considered to be sufficiently material.