EXCLUSIVE: A leading Chinese pro-audio group is Cadac's new owner, ending "six months of stasis" for the UK manufacturer, writes Dave Robinson. The Soundking Group Company Limited of Ningbo, China, has acquired the assets, trademark and intellectual property of Cadac Electronics plc.
After a protracted six-month search for a new financial backer, including a period of forced administration in December, the Luton-based console manufacturer began production once more on January 12th. Details of the deal were not disclosed.
Xianggui Wang, president and founder of Soundking - which has been making MI and pro-audio kit for 20 years - comments: "I am personally delighted that I have been able to bring the world-famous Cadac brand and its outstanding products into the Soundking Group. I am also extremely happy that we have been able to retain all Cadac employees and to protect their jobs in this time of economic uncertainty."
"Although the last few months have been a rocky ride for our employees, our customers and our suppliers, now that we are through that period, the future looks extremely good," says Bob Thomas (pictured), general manager of the new operating company, Cadac Holdings Limited. "Soundking Group are investing $6m in Cadac and in new product development and, now that we are able to draw on their financial resources, we will be able to accelerate that programme.
"I, too, am delighted that we have been able to retain all of our 25 staff and that manufacturing of Cadac consoles will remain in the UK."
After a challenging period that Thomas likens to "six months of stasis", the company is now working flat-out to fulfil a backlog of orders from Russia, Germany, Korea and China. The S-Digital console will be back on schedule for the start of production in mid-2009.
"I'm keen to emphasise that manufacturing will stay in the UK, and not go overseas," stresses Thomas. "The components and some of the PCB boards may eventually come from China, but the design, R&D and manufacturing all remain here. We want the R&D centre to become the hub of the European operation for Soundking."
In the immediate future, Thomas hopes to mark Cadac's return to full strength with a new product line at Frankfurt.
For the full story of Cadac's revival, see the March issue of Pro Sound News Europe.