Avon Rubber ponders acquisitions and disposal

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The momentum behind the development of the UK technology company Avon Rubber is set to continue according to chief executive Paul McDonald, with the company looking to make further acquisitions to augment the benefit of a recent purchase and preparing the ground for the sal of a legacy division.

Speaking in the wake of results in which underlying progress was masked by one-off provisions, McDonald underlines that Avon has up to £200m to spend on its security division and a strategic priority to use technology to integrate the capability it has developed in military security where its offering in protecting soldiers in combat has been enhanced by its acquisition of the ballistic protection company Ceradyne from 3M in August for US$91m.

McDonald explains that the Ceradyne acquisition gave Avon a capability in helmets and body armour to augment its existing capability in masks and respirators and that it is now looking for technology such as visor displays to give the company an edge in visor protection. He makes no mention of specific companies and gave no time horizons for such deals, although the implicationis that nothing is imminent.

Protection now accounts for 70% of Avon Rubber’s revenues and, without saying that the board has agreed to anything, McDonald adds that the greater focus on the protection division makes it “more and more likely” that the company will sell its dairy business in due course. Avon’s dairy business has been part of the group for more than 100 years and is a world leader in providing complete milking solutions for farmers.

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