Sense-Sonic acquires Leaf Technologies and appoints Sir Anthony Jolliffe as non-executive Chairman
Sense-Sonic Limited, the Cheshire-based company that developed a unique assisted listening device (ALD), the Conversorä, which dramatically improves and focuses sound, today announces that it has acquired Leaf Technologies Limited, a leading UK electronics manufacturing services company, from its administrators for £1.09 million in cash.
Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, Leaf Technologies produces a wide range of products for the telecommunications, business equipment, health care, security, consumer electronics and audio sectors. During the last year, Leaf has endured the general market downturn, especially in the telecoms sector and as a result of these difficult market conditions, Leaf went into administration in June 2002.
Leaf Technologies manufactures Sense-Sonic’s core product, the Conversor which is a unique assisted listening device (ALD) sold throughout the UK via the RNID, and in the US by Hal Hen Inc. In Central Europe distribution will be by Humantechnik, Germany's largest distributor of ALD's. Sense-Sonic will deal directly with distributors in Scandinavia and Southern Europe and is currently exploring opportunities in South Africa and the Middle East. The acquisition of Leaf safeguards 170 jobs in Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland and enables Sense-Sonic to secure the manufacturing base and gain the existing customers of Leaf, to manufacture, market and distribute its products.
The Conversorä is a compact and portable wireless system that consists of a unique, proprietary dual microphone design combined with stable FM technology to improve sound quality. The Conversorä can be used in tandem with most existing hearing aids via a ‘T-coil’. The Conversorä dramatically improves and focuses sound for those suffering from mild to severe hearing loss, while offering complete portability and discretion.
Andrew Luff, Managing Director of Sense-Sonic Ltd, commented: “The acquisition of Leaf has provided us with a sound company that has turnover of £12m per annum, an extensive existing customer base and a skilled workforce of some 170 people. We can now look to vertically integrate our unique product, the Conversor into Leaf and as a company, move forward and diversify into the wider field of electronics manufacturing.”
Sense-Sonic also announces the appointment of Sir Anthony Jolliffe as non-executive Chairman with immediate effect. Sir Anthony has enjoyed an extensive career in both public service and private business. The founder and visionary of a number of community, business, health and charitable organisations, Sir Anthony has served as Magistrate, Sheriff and Lord Mayor of the City of London, and as the President of the London Chamber of Commerce.
Sir Anthony currently holds and has held many Directorships of Private and Public Companies in the UK, USA and Japan, including Chairman of Corel Europe and a Director of Japan Airlines Trading UK Ltd. He acted for DHL in the sale of its business to Japan Airlines and has served as Chairman of the Advisory Board of ABN AMRO Ventures since 1982. He is an Adviser to Regent Hotels (Carlson Hospitality) for the UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia and is also Chairman of Fawley Capital Ltd., a joint venture Company between Sir Robert McAlpine, Regent Hotels and Sir Anthony Jolliffe. He is currently involved in major business projects in China, the Middle East, USA and the UK, as a shareholder, partner, advisor and consultant.
Commenting on the appointment Andrew Luff, said: “We are particularly pleased to welcome Sir Anthony to the Board. Sir Anthony brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience from public company life and public sector and he will play a key role in our forward strategy.”
Sense-Sonic Limited Andrew Luff, Managing Director Tel: +44 (0) 1625 443 333
Sir Anthony Jolliffe, non-executive Chairman Tel: +44 (0) 1625 538 100
Bankside ConsultantsHenry Harrison-Topham / Heather Salmond Tel: +44 (0) 20 7444 4140
Note to Editors
The Conversorä was developed to improve the lives of the hard of hearing, it is compact and portable and designed to work remotely with most hearing aids and can be used with headphones.
The Conversorä is comprised of two parts:
- The transmitter: A small wireless, radio microphone that can be hand-held or placed on a suitable surface, where it picks up sound and transmits it to…..
- A pendant receiver worn around the neck. This sends the sound to the hearing aid. (The receiver is discreet and light and can be worn under clothing.
The Conversorä can be used in a multitude of areas, including watching TV, car, restaurants, social functions, shopping, doctor visits, and theatre.
Sir Anthony Jolliffe
Sir Anthony Jolliffe qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1964 and started his own accounting practice in 1965, growing the business into a multi-national operation with offices in 44 countries with over 200 partners. In 1980 the receivership practice, Cork Gully, merged with Coopers & Lybrand and the audit practice, Jolliffe Cork, merged with Grant Thornton. Sir Anthony remained a partner of Grant Thornton for two years before retiring from the accounting profession.
Sir Anthony has led International Trade Missions to Spain, Japan, Germany, Zambia and Argentina. He has also held a number of other prestigious positions and appointments. Among these are:
· National Treasurer of Relate, 1971-76
· Treasurer of Britain in Europe Movement, 1970-76
· Alderman of the City of London, 1973-83
· Sheriff of the City of London, 1980-81
· Lord Mayor of London, 1982-83
· President of the Royal Society of St. George, 1978-79
· President of the London Chamber of Commerce, 1984-87
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