LONDON Flightspares Electronics, a name with many years history on the U.K. connector distribution scene, has been been adopted by the management-buy-out team that has purchased the electromechanical division of Compstock Electronics from parent company, UMECO.
The Compstock name was 'retired' when UMECO restructured its electronic components distribution buisness. The MBO has been completed by Paul Green and Maurice Lee, who previously were respectively Marketing Director and Finance & Operations Director of Compstock Electronics. The management team is augmented by industry-veteran, Bill McKnight who brings his vast experience to the post of non-executive director.
Flightspares’ main franchise is Tyco Electronics, whose products the distributor has sold since the 1960s. Green said, “For many years, Flightspares was the number one distributor for AMP/Tyco in the UK and Ireland. We were even in the top five in Tyco’s European distribution network, despite the fact that we only covered the British Isles. Tyco has presented us with many awards over the years, and even though we admit that under previous ownership there was a lessening of focus on the electromechanical side of the business, excluding the catalogue houses we are still the second most successful distributor for Tyco in the UK and Ireland.”
Ian McFadyen, sales director for Tyco Electronics in the UK and Ireland, added, “We are delighted by the news and congratulate Paul and Maurice on the MBO. We have known and worked with them and the Flightspares team for many years, and feel confident and excited that under the new ownership we can significantly develop our business together.
Green believes that the Flightspares brand is still very strong. “Even though we have not actively traded as Flightspares since 1999, we still get faxes every day addressing us by this well-respected name. We have a massively loyal customer base which has stuck with us because of the service and support we offer. We will be reintroducing our policy of visiting even very small customers to ensure that this level of commitment continues.”
The new Flightspares will start with 15 people, many of whom are transferring over from Compstock. “Our customers will be reassured to know that the people they have always dealt with – including Sue Summerell, Gary Royston and Margaret Bromley in sales, and Michael Horlock in product support – are still a vital part of the team,” saidGreen.
Flightspares serves all industry sectors, including rail, automotive, contract manufacture and industrial. As well as connectors, the company intends to supply other electromechanical products including motors, switches and relays.
Flightspares was founded in Southend in the 1960s to supply spare parts for the aircraft industry. The electronics division was spun off in the 1970s and AMP (now Tyco), was signed initially as a stockist, then in 1985 a full franchise deal was signed. It was last being named distributor of the year in 1996. In 1999, the company merged with Compstock, a specialist capacitor distributor. In 1999, the joint company was acquired by UMECO, a provider of value-added distribution services and composite materials primarily to the aerospace & defence industries.
The Flightspares management team (from left) Bill McKnight, Non-Executive Director; Maurice Lee – Finance Director, and Paul Green, Managing Director.