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.

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