Sold for $12m, then closed by foreign owners
A Wellington marine lights manufacturer that helped light ports around the world will close just months after being bought by a Canadian company.
Vega Industries manager Kevin Anderson confirmed that, after nearly 50 years in business, Vega’s Porirua base on Heriot Drive would be closing.
An employee who did not want to be named said the company’s 38 people would lose their jobs when all New Zealand manufacture was transferred overseas, over the next nine to 12 months.
Vega was a pioneering designer and manufacturer of marine navigation equipment, and was bought by Canadian firm Carmanah Technologies - which also produces marine lighting - in August for $12 million.
The company announced the closure when workers returned after the New Year break, the employee said.
As a manufacturer, the closure would impact other businesses whose services it used.
Vega was founded in 1972. It was the first company to design and manufacture a port entry light and has many complementary products to Carmanah.
It was a pioneer in designing and manufacturing high-end lights, technology and software for the specialised global aid to navigation market.
Its navigational lights provide guidance in major waterways, ports and harbours from the English Channel, Panama Canal and Congo River to supporting the US Coast Guard.
Its lights also looked Paremata Harbour.
The business has a purpose-built factory with a fully-equipped after machine shop. Also on site was a comprehensive assembly and testing environment for electronic and optical systems.
The company’s website says its lights are machined from marine alloys to provide strength, dimensional stability and heat dissipation.
‘‘This development facility includes two computerised zerolength photometry facilities and an environmental chamber for testing extremes of temperature and humidity.’’
Anderson referred further comment to Carmanah’s chief executive John Simmons in British Columbia, who was unavailable for interview until later in February.
Carmanah’s purchasing of Vega brought together Sabik Marine, Carmanah, Ekta, and Vega to create an international powerhouse in the marine aids-to-navigation market.
Carmanah designs, develops, and distributes products focused on LED solutions for infrastructure.
A Vega Industries navigational buoy at an offshore wind farm in Britain.