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Vacuum pump jobs are ‘safe’ after takeover of Sussex company
A vacuum pump company has been snapped up by a Swedish giant.
Bosses at the Edwards group last night insisted its Sussex jobs are safe following the takeover by Atlas Copco.
Edwards is one of the oldest firms in Sussex and makes vacuum systems used in industries for freeze-drying food, manufacturing flat-screen TVs and keeping laboratories sterile.
It is headquartered in Crawley and has divisions in Burgess Hill and Shoreham.
Atlas, which has a site in Hemel Hempstead, plans to create a new vacuum division within its air compressor arm, which will be based in Crawley.
Edwards was founded in 1919 as a vacuum equipment importing business in south London. It started manufacturing vacuum equipment in 1939 and has more than 1,400 live patents.
Edwards tried unsuccessfully to float on the London Stock Exchange in 2011.
Two years ago, it axed 200 jobs at its Sussex operation in order tomove operations to the Far East.
Stockholm-based Atlas has almost 40,000 staff based in more than 170 countries, spanning industries including air compression, mining equipment and power tools.
The deal involves a fixed cash payment of 9.25 US dollars (590p) per share when the deal completes early next year.
Investors will also get up to another 1.25 US dollars (80p) depending on Edwards making 2013 targets.
Edwards boss Jim Gentilcore said there would be no impact on jobs in Sussex and that day-to-day activities in Sussex would be unchanged.
He said: “The transaction delivers many benefits for Edwards’ customers and employees. The two companies share very similar strategic goals, strong brands and market-leading positions.”
Atlas chief executive Ronnie Leten said: “The vacuum solutions market is growing and has similar characteristics to our existing industrial businesses.”
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