Business as usual for Peterlee firm after international takeover

Rod Taylor from Seaward
Rod Taylor from Seaward

A Peterlee firm has been taken over by a leading international electronics company.

But it is business as usual for the Seaward Group and its 170 workers in East Durham.

Seaward has been acquired by Metrawatt International GmbH for an undisclosed sum.

The Bracken Hill-based manufacturer of electronic test and measurement instruments will become part of Metrawatt’s GMC Instrumentation Group, a collaboration of separate specialist test equipment manufacturing businesses based in Germany, Switzerland and the USA.

Seaward’s name and product brands will remain intact.

Manufacturing will continue as normal at the company’s operation in County Durham, along with its overseas sales offices in the USA and Malaysia.

Rod Taylor, founder of Seaward in 1982 and chairman of the company, said: “Our presence in the UK will remain as strong as it always has been. In fact, one of the attractions of linking up with GMC means that Seaward can make the most of the high global growth potential of its products without losing its brand identity or the core values that have been associated with the business.”

Seaward has successfully grown its business in recent years and has a turnover of around £16m. Export has become an important and growing feature of the company’s development and it supplies products to over 60 countries across the globe, recently breaking into Japan, China and South America

Managing director Andrew Upton said: “Seaward will be one of the largest business units in the expanded GMC Instrumentation division and will have a crucial role to play in helping the group realise its ambitions for growth.

The Nuremburg-headquartered Metrawatt is a global leader in making test products and systems used in the electrical, energy and related sectors. It employs just under 600 people and has an annual turnover of around £65m.