JOHANNESBURG --- One of Africa's oldest aerospace companies, ATE (Advanced Technology and Engineering Company (Pty) Ltd), manufacturers of high-tech products for the global defence industry, has been saved from liquidation with vital technology and skills now staying in Africa, thanks to the acquisition by Africa's largest privately owned defence and aerospace business, Paramount Group.
Ownership of the aeronautical engineering company, which specialises in drones, avionics, sensor systems and upgrades for helicopter and supersonic fighter aircraft, will transfer to Paramount Group, following the successful conclusion of a business rescue which also sees the preservation of 250 high-skilled jobs.
Paramount Group's acquisition ensures the continuation of this strategic business, adding significant new and sophisticated aeronautical capabilities into its existing product offering.
Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman, Paramount Group, said: "Paramount Group's success lies in our confidence and faith in Africa's technical ability. This transaction will aid the continent, allow us to drive research and development in this high-tech field, and participate as one of the leading global industry players.
"This acquisition not only safeguards service delivery for ATE's worldwide customers, but builds on our commitment to grow Africa's high-tech competence.
"With South Africa becoming a fully-fledged member of BRICS it's imperative that we enter a new phase of industrialisation. The development of home-grown technology, skills and manufacturing capabilities are crucial if we are to capitalise on the world's appetite to do business in our region," said Ichikowitz.
The incorporation of ATE will enhance the position of the Paramount Group as the leading privately owned defence and aerospace group in Africa, with a strong and diversified global offering in land, sea and air.
Paramount is set on a growth trajectory, which will be further accelerated by the inclusion of ATE competencies into the existing business. It will also see Paramount Group add to its civilian market expertise in border surveillance, coastal patrol, environmental protection, and disaster and emergency services.