Scott Tech buys DC Ross

Scott Technology chief executive Chris Hopkins and machinist Calvin Aburn at the soon-to-be expanded Kaikorai Valley headquarters yesterday. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Scott Technology chief executive Chris Hopkins and machinist Calvin Aburn at the soon-to-be expanded Kaikorai Valley headquarters yesterday. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Dunedin engineering specialist Scott Technology will increase the size of its Kaikorai Valley operation after buying precision engineering company DC Ross, which is in receivership.

The move will complement a separate, up-to-$3million expansion of the listed company's city workshops.

The likely addition of nine of DC Ross' 12 employees will boost Scott's Dunedin staff to 84. The company employs more than 400 staff worldwide.

''We didn't want to see the engineering skills disappearing out of the city,'' Scott chief executive Chris Hopkins said yesterday. ''We used DC Ross' skills, as well as others in the city.''

The DC Ross assets, which include metal blanking presses and tool-making machinery, would be bought for less than $500,000.

Scott would build an additional 1500sq m workspace and up to 800sq m of office space at Kaikorai Valley on a ''ballpark'' budget of $2.5million-$3million.

''Over time we're looking to grow and add more staff; that has always been the intention,'' Mr Hopkins said.

The expansion was ''supported by growth'' in domestic and international markets.

Mr Hopkins hoped the expansion could begin soon and be finished by early 2018.

''We're pretty tight for space as things stand at the moment,'' he said.

DC Ross, which specialised in high-quality fine blanking tool parts, was placed in receivership by majority shareholder the McConnon family in September, owing almost $19million - $13.7million of it to the McConnon family trust.

DC Ross had supplied giant Chinese whiteware company Haier and the Australian automotive industry before the latter hit a downturn, which affected its cash flow.

''The [DC Ross] transaction is separate, but complementary to, the expansion plans,'' Mr Hopkins said.

Scott has diversified in recent years, expanding from making production lines to include meat robotics and industry automation and mining sector equipment.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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