Unison expands portfolio with acquisition of RPS Switchgear

2 October 2019 – Unison announced today it has acquired RPS Switchgear, an electrical switchgear business based in Petone, Lower Hutt. The purchase complements the Group’s current portfolio of subsidiaries including contracting specialist UCSL, telecommunications network UnisonFibre, and transformer manufacturer ETEL. Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland, said investing in an electrical switchgear business strengthened its operations and provided good synergy for the Group. Onboarding new business into the Unison Group was not new. In 2002 Unison acquired the electricity distribution assets of Taupo and Rotorua and in 2009 branched into fibre, which formed the backbone of the company’s Smart Network. That same year Unison purchased ETEL, a leading transformer manufacturing company, that supplies the New Zealand market and exports distribution transformers to Australia and the Pacific Islands. “Unison purchased ETEL 10 years ago to enhance the performance of our electricity distribution operations and that has been highly successful for the Group. ETEL has continued to grow, including the purchase of Indonesian-based manufacturing business, LLG, in 2016.” Unison’s investment in ETEL has close parallels with its investment in RPS Switchgear with both underpinning electricity equipment required predominately by distribution network companies. Mr Sutherland acknowledged previous owner and Managing Director, Geoff Hay, for growing a successful manufacturing operation with a high market share in New Zealand. “RPS has built strong relationships with key suppliers and sub-contractors giving it global reach across Australasia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the United Kingdom,” said Mr Sutherland. “RPS is joining the Unison Group at an exciting time in the NZ energy sector. We’re a specialist company in a niche part of the electricity industry and I am delighted that the business will continue to prosper by joining the fifth largest electricity distribution business in the country,” Mr Hay said. Mr Sutherland said the purchase of RPS Switchgear is indicative of the Group’s strategy to diversify and grow through targeted investments, one way in which Unison intends to remain sustainable for its many and varied stakeholders.