Solid State swoops for southern counterpart in £6.3m deal

Solid State the, the Redditch-based, AIM-listed manufacturer of computing, power and communications products, has bought Buckinghamshire firm Active Silicon and its subsidiaries in a £6.3m deal.

Active Silicon designs and and manufactures solutions for high-performance digital image capture, processing, and transmission. Some 50% of the firm’s revenue comes from the overseas market.

Active Silicon’s headquarters and research & development centre are in Iver (west of London) with its production facility nearby in Langley In addition, it has a US subsidiary, Active Silicon Inc., which operates from Severna Park, Maryland. This office provides sales, support, and operations for the North American market.

All hardware is designed in-house with some subcontract manufacturing taking place in Europe. Final assembly, inspection and testing is undertaken at the UK production facility.

For the year ended 31 March 2020 Active Silicon reported revenue of £5.5m, profit after tax of £300,000 and had net assets of £5.7m.

Gary Marsh, chief executive of Solid State, said: “Solid State’s acquisition strategy targets complementary technologies with exposure to structural growth markets. The acquisition of Active Silicon achieves both of these objectives while additionally broadening the capacity for the enlarged group to increase its range of own brand products and value added services.

“The computing sector has been a key market for Solid State, which has driven a focus on expanding capability in the development of AI enabled technologies for industries such as medical, security, defence and life sciences. We see the acquisition of Active Silicon as a considerable step in broadening our customer offering and further extending into the product value chain.

“We look forward to welcoming the Active Silicon team to the Solid State group and are very optimistic about our future together.”

Colin Pearce, chief executive of Active Silicon, added: “We are pleased to become part of the Solid State group and firmly believe the synergies of our embedded electronics expertise, combined with Solid State’s portfolio of computing platforms, will lead to an acceleration of our profitable growth in the expanding areas of AI and embedded computing in general.”

Keith Spedding, partner and business transaction and growth specialist at Shakespeare Martineau, advised Solid State plc on the legal aspects of the acquisition, said: “We’ve been working with Solid State plc for more than 10 years, seeing them make multiple deals in that time. It’s great to a see a West Midlands headquartered firm continue to grow and move from strength to strength in the current challenging environment. There are clearly opportunities in the current market for those with strong businesses.”