Ford to acquire Pi Group

LONDON, U.K. , November 24, 1999 - Ford Motor Company announced today that it will purchase the Pi Group, a leading supplier of high-technology electronics to the automotive industry. Pi is one of the world's top designers and manufacturers...

LONDON, U.K. , November 24, 1999 - Ford Motor Company announced today that it will purchase the Pi Group, a leading supplier of high-technology electronics to the automotive industry.

Pi is one of the world's top designers and manufacturers of "leading edge" electronic equipment and software. It supplies many of the world's best-known automotive names and is particularly strong in motor sport. Ford will purchase all of the company, which employs about 300 people. Pi headquarters are in Cambridge, England. The company also has subsidiary offices in the United States.

"The acquisition of the Pi Group strengthens our motor sport portfolio," said Neil Ressler, Ford's chief technical officer and vice-president - Research and Vehicle Technology.

"It also will accelerate the technology transfer from motor sport to mainstream vehicles for Ford Motor Company customers," he said. "We've strengthened our capabilities in automotive electronics, an increasingly important part of vehicle development. Pi is a world leader in electronics technology necessary for tomorrow's vehicles, including battery electrics, fuel-cell electrics and hybrid electrics. Pi is a jewel of a company, with a superb technology reputation in both the motor sport and automotive industries."

Pi is at the forefront of software engineering, audio, driver information and in-car navigation systems. In motor racing, it is one of the leading suppliers of data acquisition systems, telemetry and control systems. Pi is the electronics leader in many professional racing championships, including the North American-based NASCAR and Champ Car series, and is growing in stature in Formula One.

Pi will operate as an independent subsidiary of Ford's Research and Vehicle Technology group, headed by Mr. Ressler. It will continue under the leadership of company founder Tony Purnell at its existing headquarters at Milton Hall, in Cambridge, England.

"Ford's acquisition is good news for Pi, its staff and for our customers," said Mr. Purnell. "It gives us much greater financial security and resources, and helps us to promote the Pi brand."

The current directors will remain with the company, and there will be no change in the way the business operates. "We are maintaining our independence and will continue to assure our clients complete confidentiality on all projects," said Mr. Purnell. "Pi will continue to operate as a small company, but with the benefit of greatly increased resources. We believe that we can be even more innovative and successful in the future."

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