Reunert rebrands defence business

By Leon Engelbrecht, ITWeb senior writer
Johannesburg, 26 Sept 2008

Reunert has rebranded its defence businesses to build better synergy and advance its marketing strategy.

Fuchs Electronics, Reutech Radar Systems, RDL Technologies and RDI Communications will, in future, respectively be known as Reutech Precision Products, Reutech Radar Systems, Reutech Solutions and Reutech Communications.

The companies, already grouped into the Reutech division of the Reunert Group, supply a full range of electronic defence products to the SA National Defence Force and other militaries.

Reutech COO Peter van der Bijl says: "Reutech's strength in the local market and growing potential in export market made it necessary to consolidate its marketing strategy and to promote synergies between our... companies.

"The four companies in Reutech operate in similar markets and invariably have a common customer base. They will all benefit from brand consolidation.

"We wish to re-identify ourselves as a 100% South African company, acting as a host for South African technologies and supplying South African products in partnership with Armscor, the CSIR, South African industry and other interest groups," Van der Bijl adds.

The companies

o Reutech Precision Products (RPS) manufactures the world-renowned range of Fuchs electronic fuses for artillery, mortar, naval and air weapons applications, as well as a full range of aircraft gravity bombs. RPS was formed in 1963 as Fuchs Electronics.

o Reutech Solutions is a systems engineering and support company. The company provides the full spectrum of installation and logistic support of electronic equipment to the SANDF, government agencies and clients in the banking and mining industries. It also manufactures and supplies the Rogue remote control weapon, which is used for land and naval applications, to the SA military. Reutech Solutions was established in1963 as Barlows Electronic Systems. Barlows (now Barloworld) divested itself of its defence businesses in the 1990s.

o Reutech Radar Systems (RRS) develops and manufactures ground and naval search and tracking radar systems and subsystems for the SANDF, as well as customers in the export market. Mining radar sensor systems utilised in opencast mining operations are also supplied internationally. Significant contracts secured include the supply of sensors and software for the country's Ground Based Air Defence System programme, tracking sensors for the Valour-class frigates and more recently, helicopter management radar for the Royal Norwegian Navy. RRS was formed in 1987.

o Reutech Communications is a supplier of VHF/UHF tactical communications equipment used by the SANDF. Military Airborne radios are also exported to various offshore clients. The company was established as Barcom Electronics in 1968.

Reunert CEO Gerrit "Boel" Pretorius last year canned plans to sell the companies after they posted good financial results. Pretorius put Reutech on the market in June 2006, saying it was "non-core" and not part of his future plans for Reunert. However, in February 2007 he took the company off the market, saying although "Reutech remains non-core, it would be insane to give away a profitable business".

A company spokesman adds that the consolidation of the group's defence interests under the Reutech name "is a further important milestone in Reunert's strategy to consolidate its interests under strong brand names".

The group's electronic consumer interests are trading under the Nashua brand and a year ago, the electrical engineering businesses were consolidated under the CBi-electric name.

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