Global manufacturer of controls and cordless interfaces for water boiling appliances
In September 2000, Montagu acquired a significant minority stake in Strix through a recapitalisation, investing alongside the existing shareholders. The investment continued Montagu's strong track record of investing in highly profitable market leading businesses with world class research, development and technical excellence.
The Strix Group was the leading worldwide manufacturer of controls and cordless interfaces for kettles, jugs and a wide range of other water boiling appliances. The company had achieved this status through a long history of product innovation and quality.
Strix controls were the enabling technology that kettle manufacturers used to ensure their products were safe and to provide their products with extra features. The controls are designed to work in conjunction with the kettle's heating element and ensure the kettle switches off when the water boils and protects it from damage should the appliance boil dry. Key brands such as Tefal, Rowenta, Morphy Richards, Russell Hobbs, Kenwood, Philips, Bosch Siemens, Braun and Bodum all contained Strix controls. In fact, at the time of the transaction, Strix products were used one billion times a day worldwide, by 20% of the world's population.
The company's achievements had been recognised by being awarded the Queen's Award for Export Achievement in 1995 and 1998 as well as the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2000. The enterprise award was due to the development of innovative technology that allowed the creation of heating technology which moves the heating element to the underside of the kettle's base. This leaves smooth internal surfaces, resulting in the kettle being easier to clean and aesthetically more pleasing.
Strix had manufacturing sites in the Isle of Man, United Kingdom and China with offices all around the world. Strix and Montagu were natural partners as both companies had global coverage with two significant focal points being Europe and the Far East.
In structuring the recapitalisation, Montagu provided the group with sufficient resources to continue its positive development. The investment also acted as the catalyst to allow the management team to participate in the value growth in the business, thus helping to ensure the next generation of management were motivated to continue the company's success.
In April 2005 Montagu Private Equity sold its interest in Strix to ABN AMRO Capital for an undisclosed consideration.