Simrad, a fresh start?
I’m in a pre-travel dither today (evening flight to France), but I have a couple of thoughts about the recent sale of Simrad’s marine electronics assets to the “Nordic private equity fund Altor”. On the surface at least, it looks something like Raymarine’s split from giant Raytheon. I remember at the time how skeptics fretted that the new independent company would suffer for lack of the mother corp.’s R&D depth and deep pockets, but it certainly seems that Raymarine has been developing interesting and successful products ever since (and its financial backers enjoyed an IPO). Let’s hope Simrad gets a similar shot of energy. I also want to note one of Simrad’s significant assets. My wife and I got to tour two of its factories in Norway a few years ago and were impressed with what we saw and felt. The lady above is assembling autopilots in the old Robertson operation in the fishing port of Egersund (drying fish and socks below, how salty is that!). R&D, production, marketing all shared the same waterfront facilities, and many folks had been there for decades. There was a solid, peaceful feel to the whole operation. Afterwards, Andrea, who cares little about this stuff, said that if electronics were important to her, she’d like to have these people building them.