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Christchurch-based ECL Group expands

Media release

Tuesday April 20

Christchurch-based ECL Group expands

Christchurch-based security and electronics company ECL Group has embarked on a significant expansion programme, with the purchase of three companies - Fuelquip New Zealand, Fuelquip Australia and Supalite - from international manufacturing and service giant, Tyco International.

The acquisitions more than treble ECL Group¹s business, taking its annual turnover to $60 million a year and adding 290 staff to the company¹s present workforce. ECL Group will now have a presence in all major cities and towns throughout New Zealand and Australia.

ECL Group managing director Grant Mirfin says the acquisition of three such established companies allows ECL Group to strengthen its existing activities in the New Zealand and Australian fuel industries. The industry in both countries is extremely dynamic and an exciting area to be investing in given its challenges and potential, he says.

³The expansion strengthens our market position and deepens our product offering. ECL Group now provides total site solutions to the oil industry across New Zealand and Australia.²

The deal evolved after Tyco signalled it was divesting its core business outside of fire and security. The price ECL Group paid for the three well-established companies is confidential.

Supalite manufactures large signage units for sites such petrol stations and fast food outlets, while Fuelquip installs and services equipment for the fuel industry including tanks, pumps and environmental equipment.

In the new ownership structure, all companies will operate in their own right with a general manager. ECL Group¹s head office in Christchurch will provide strategic direction, guidance and corporate governance.

ECL Group, majority owned by Christchurch-based twin brothers, Grant and Brent Mirfin, already operates three companies under its banner - ECL Security, ECL Electronics and Specialist Monitoring Services.

³There is a synergy with our existing business as many of the customers we currently do business with are also customers of the companies we¹ve acquired. The move also allows us to further provide trans-Tasman offerings to the market,² Grant Mirfin says.

The group has undergone spectacular growth since a management buy-out of the original electrical contracting business from its retiring owner in 1997.

In seven years they have re-branded the company and diversified it away from its electrical contracting base into more niche markets including security, electronics and IT help desk business. Staff numbers had increased from 13 in 1997 to 90 in line with the company¹s spectacular growth.

Contact details:

Diane Keenan Communications Consultant Glass Tower Strategic Communications 03-3651 445 or 027455 5159

ECL Background

Exisiting companies. ECL Group has three existing divisions:

* ECL Security, a leading provider of corporate electronic security installation and servicing. General Manager Brent Mirfin.

* ECL Electronics, a company that undertakes the servicing of point of sale and back office systems in the New Zealand oil industry.

* Specialist Monitoring Services, a Wellington-based IT based company that undertakes helpdesk solutions in the New Zealand and Australian oil industry.

New companies Supalite is New Zealand¹s largest and most experienced imaging company. It manufactures large signage units installed on sites such as service stations and food outlets.

Fuelquip New Zealand undertakes the installation of fuel related equipment including tanks, pumps and environmental monitoring equipment. The company has offices in 16 towns and cities throughout New Zealand and has 220 staff.

Fuelquip Australia has the same service operations in Australia. It is based in all the state capitals and has 70 staff.

Background feature.

Tuesday April 20, 2004

Company acquisitions take ECL Group to new level.

ECL Group, a Christchurch-based company specialising in electronics and security, is achieving spectacular growth.

ECL Group, owned by identical twin brothers Grant and Brent Mirfin, 39, and a third partner, recently more than trebled the group¹s operation with the purchase of another three companies ­ Fuelquip Australia, Fuelquip New Zealand and Supalite ­ from international manufacturing and service giant, Tyco International. The purchase price is confidential.

The acquisitions boost the group¹s annual turnover to $65 million and add 290 staff to its payroll. ECL Group, which has been operating with three companies under its banner, now has a presence in all major cities and towns throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Fuelquip installs and services fuel related equipment such as tanks, pumps and environmental monitoring equipment. In New Zealand it is based in 16 towns and cities, employing 220 staff, while in Australia it is in all state capitals and has 70 staff.

Supalite is Auckland based and makes the large signs installed at service stations and fast food outlets.

The acquisitions strengthen ECL Group¹s already strong links with the fuel industries in New Zealand and Australia, Grant Mirfin, ECL Group managing director, says.

The present owners bought ECL Group, an electrical contracting business from its retiring owner in 1997. Brent, a qualified electrician, was working for the company and Grant was a sales and marketing executive for a multinational company in Wellington.

The company then had a staff of 13 and tackled everything that came its way in the electrical contracting field. The new owners recognised the need to focus on opportunities in niche markets with Brent identifying security as a potential growth sector.

³It was our strategy right from the outset to move away from electrical contracting and into targeted areas, including security, electronics and IT help desk business,¹¹ Grant says.

ECL Group was rebranded, and today has three companies operating under its banner ­ ECL Security, ECL Electronics and Specialist Monitoring Services. ECL Security, of which Brent is general manager, is positioned as the company flagship. ECL Security, which specialises in the design, installation and support of security systems, has branches in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. There are also service centres in 12 provincial cities and towns.

Its products and services include electronic access card systems, closed circuit television systems, intruder detection systems, electric perimeter fences and crime surveillance camera systems.

ECL Electronics, another company operating under the group¹s umbrella, services Point of Sale and back office systems in the New Zealand oil industry.

ECL Group¹s third division, Specialist Monitoring Services, established in 1999, is an electronic security monitoring and IT Help Desk base for corporate clients.

Based in Wellington, the company monitors client sites and provides system support. The addition of Specialist Monitoring Services gave clients the opportunity to access all their security and risk management requirements from one provider, ECL Group.

Today the ECL Group is definitely the leader in the New Zealand electronic security market, having achieved the distinction of receiving the Cardax International Dealer of the Year award for the past four years.

The recent acquisitions of the three well-known and respected companies from Tyco will boost ECL Group¹s profile further. Grant Mirfin says the expansion involves many of ECL Group¹s current customers and will also strengthen its trans-Tasman links.

General managers run the individual companies, while ECL Group will provide strategic direction, guidance and corporate governance from its Christchurch head office.

ECL will continue to look for further opportunities. Security is one area that is certainly going to grow in both New Zealand and Australia, Grant Mirfin says.


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