Edwards adds to Australian presence

Monday, December 1, 2003

SARASOTA, Fla. - The parent company of Edwards Systems Technology in late October purchased the distribution arm of an Australian fire protection and emergency warning systems manufacturer, an acquisition that will give Edwards added distribution in the Australian fire market.

The purchase of Ziton Australia, Ziton Queensland and Intelligent Fire Systems by SPX Australia Pty Limited adds another piece of Ziton’s fire business, which SPX had already added to its fold with a purchase of Ziton South Africa in 2001. Ziton Australia and Queensland acted as distribution arms for that company, which had the bulk of its operations in South Africa and the U.K. The previous owners of Ziton corporate had licensed the use of the Ziton name in the Australian market, according to Steve Hein, vice president of marketing for Edwards.

“This adds the distribution arm to our existing products, plus it enables us to customize the standard Ziton product to meet the Australian marketplace,” Hein said.

For Edwards, the $3 million acquisition beefs up the company’s presence in the Australian market. Ziton, a multi-faceted company with design and engineering capabilities as well as a distribution and installation arm, was founded in 1988 and served 2,500 customers throughout Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, one of the largest independent companies in that market. Edwards did not acquire the installation part of Ziton’s business.

Edwards President Jay Twombly said the expansion in the Australian market is part of a growth initiative underway at Edwards to further globalize the company.