Q&A with Alex Burns, Millbrook president

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Alex Burns discusses the vehicle testing facility’s recent sale to Spectris, and how the acquisiton will enable Millbrook to accelerate development plans and enter new markets

How did the recent sale of the business to Spectris come about?

Millbrook was originally founded by GM many years ago and they sold the business in 2013 to a private equity house, so we always knew it would be sold on again in the future. We weren’t expecting that to happen imminently, but Spectris has a strategy to add to their current instrumentation offering with testing services and Millbrook is a very good fit for that.

What relationship do you have with Spectris?

We believe Spectris is the right owner going forward, and that it is important that we remain independent of all the vehicle manufacturers.

I think people were nervous that had we been bought by another OEM, it might have compromised our independence and impartiality. The sale to Spectris means we will retain both.

Spectris is a leading supplier of productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls. We are now part of its test and measurement business segment, which includes three other companies – HBM, Brüel & Kjær Sound & Vibration, and ESG. The acquisition means we now have a better opportunity to work with our sister companies, particularly Brüel & Kjær Sound & Vibration and HBM, to offer more integrated solutions for our customers.

Will any other changes be implemented?

We have had an aggressive investment program over the last 12 months and we’re expecting that to continue into the future under Spectris. The acquisition also gives us greater stability because it means we are now no longer a private equity company and therefore the ownership is unlikely to change again. We now have an extremely well established company with a presence in over 30 countries behind us, which enables Millbrook to accelerate its investment plans and enter into international markets. It’s really exciting!

For more on the recent investments at Millbrook click here.

September 22, 2016

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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