BRIGHTON, England Amplicon Liveline founder, Jim Hicks, and his wife Heather, have sold their majority holding in the company to the management team led by Tony Gorbold.
The company manufactures and distributes professional computing systems, data communications and data acquisition products.
Jim Hicks MBE, who set up the company in 1973 was recently diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and has been treated at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton followed by a successful stem cell transplant, said, “The sale of Amplicon will not only allow Heather and I to enjoy total worry free retirement, but will also ensure a sound future for our team of people, with continuity for customers and suppliers. We look forward to seeing the business continue to go from strength to strength.”
Hicks stepped sideways into the role of Chairman four years ago to allow Amplicon to move forward with a more aggressive strategy, and since then the company has declared increasing turnovers of £4.6million in 2001/2 to £5.8million in 2003/4.
Gorbold who has been operations director at Amplicon for many years and helped Hicks establish the business, becomes managing director, and together with Mark Bushby, finance director and Gina Citroni, commercial director, now owns the company in its entirety.
Gorbold said, “The strength of the management team and the support of our highly motivated sales team will enable us to face our future with both energy and confidence. I am certain that with the talent and desire to succeed we will be able to capitalise on this exciting new phase of Amplicon's development.”
Richard Edwards, who was managing director, is not included in the MBO team and has left the company.
Gorbold joined Amplicon in 1974 and has been a director since 1975. He has managed and directed sales, marketing, accounts, purchasing, warehousing, logistics, manufacturing, design, service and configuration, administration, facilities and IT, overseeing the day to day management of these areas at various different times as the company has grown from 4 to 40 staff.
As operations director, he managed Amplicon's own product design, and computer network and was also responsible for the fabric of the property along with all the facilities to provide the working environment.
Bushby is a certified chartered accountant with a 15 year track record of working within finance departments of electronics companies. He joined Amplicon in 2000 as group accountant and became finance director in 2001.
Citroni joined Amplicon in 2001 as purchasing manager and was promoted to commercial manager in 2002, and is responsible for the progression of the business teams from under performance to producing two successive years of 12% increase in sales figures. She became commercial director in July 2004.