Sept. 17, 2013 by Paramount Group
The business rescue process of one of South Africa's truly recognised national assets, ATE South Africa (Advanced Technology and Engineering Company), has become unconditional with the support, both financial and strategic, of the Paramount Group, Africa's largest privately-owned aerospace and defence company – a bold move that is strategic to the continued growth and development of the defence industry on the continent, and which will result in the Paramount Group acquiring ATE.
ATE, one of South Africa's oldest and most established aerospace companies, with more than 27 years of experience, will now be incorporated into the Paramount Group, trading as Paramount Advanced Technologies. This will ensure that vital aerospace expertise and world-class competency remains in South Africa, to the benefit of the continent and the broader economy.
ATE has been through a tumultuous time over the past few years and was placed under business rescue just under two years ago. Paramount Group's acquisition will ensure the continuation of this strategic business, and in so doing, add significant new and sophisticated aeronautical capabilities into its existing product offering and expand the group's ability to deliver to its many government customers around the world.
Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman, Paramount Group, said: "Paramount Group's success lies in our confidence and faith in our continent's technical ability. The business rescue of ATE demonstrates this commitment and will harness local skills and South Africa's ‘can do' attitude. This transaction will ultimately aid the continent, allow us to drive research and development in this hi-tech field, and participate as one of the leading global industry players.
"The alternative to Paramount rescuing ATE would have been for the company to go into liquidation or for a foreign company to acquire the business. This would have meant the loss of a highly specialised strategic capability to South Africa and the continent forever. The Paramount Group is firmly committed to growing Africa's hi-tech competence, and this transaction further provides us the opportunity to do so."
"The people we need to salute are the employees, customers and suppliers that have been through an extremely difficult time but have demonstrated their commitment and loyalty by standing by the business and supporting this process."
"This acquisition safeguards service delivery for ATE's worldwide customers and allows us to expand the scope of solutions on offer to better serve those who have stood by ATE through the change," said Ichikowitz.
"With South Africa becoming a fully fledged member of BRICS, it is 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 both the world's appetite to do business in our region and the huge potential for intra-African and intra-BRICS trade. Paramount Group continues to lead by example, demonstrating that South African industry can match the best in the world," said Ichikowitz.
The incorporation of ATE will enhance the position of the Paramount Group as the leading privately-owned defence and aerospace group on the African continent, with a strong and diversified global offering, which will see future development of new technologies, job opportunities and skills development.
"The conclusion of the business rescue is phase one in terms of saving the company. The company will now have to go through a restructure, the turnaround will be a challenge, but the intention is to rebuild sustainably and retain skills to ensure that we play a significant part in the long-term future of this global industry," said Ichikowitz.
Paramountis set on a growth trajectory, which will be further accelerated by the inclusion of ATE competencies into the existing business. This will provide product extensions such as UAVs, sensors, avionics, mission systems and system integration to its already comprehensive and growing suite of aerospace, land and maritime security and defence products. It will also see Paramount Group add to its civilian market expertise in border surveillance, coastal patrol, environmental protection, and disaster and emergency services.
"This is just the beginning of a long and challenging journey, this business rescue is proof that we believe in the skills and potential of the business and we look forward to welcoming the ATE staff to the Paramount Group," concluded Ichikowitz.