POSTED: 31st October 2014

Daifuku investment in BCS accelerates global growth

Japan’s Daifuku Co., Ltd. is to take a majority stake in one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing companies, New Zealand-headquartered BCS Group; in a move described by BCS CEO Patrick Teo as opening doors for the company’s plans for faster global expansion and access to new markets.

Daifuku plans to acquire an 80% share of BCS, encouraged by the revolutionary IP developed by BCS's development lab in Auckland and the company's rapid growth.

Daifuku is the world's leading materials handling company with an annual turnover in excess of $US2.3 billion.

Since entering the airport baggage handling industry, Daifuku has continued to invest in product R&D and systems and solution design, along with major investments in customer demonstration centres in Japan, UK and USA.

Mr Teo said BCS had fielded numerous approaches over the years from companies wanting to join forces. The company had also worked with Daifuku for some time, and this further association with Daifuku now opens up unprecedented access to world markets to continue its globalisation of its solutions including its revolutionary self-service bag drop system, BAGgate™.

"The reality is that we will increase our portfolio of innovative solutions and products that will benefit not only our customers in the airport sector but also in the high growth courier sortation market. We will also be investing more heavily into R&D and that has got to be good both from an employment perspective and our on-going need for more staff, as well as creating more high value jobs," he said.

"We see it being mutually beneficial.  BCS adds to Daifuku's global presence in baggage handling, and we are big in countries where they are not.  Through Daifuku Webb, a US subsidiary of Daifuku, they have a strong presence in the US, and through Daifuku Logan, a UK subsidiary, Europe is covered - both geographies where we do not have a footprint - whilst we have concentrated on taking ownership of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and African airport markets."

"Daifuku also operates very strongly at a global lead level in a number of sectors, such as warehousing, distribution and motor vehicle plants, all of which will strongly complement the courier sortation market where we are strong, and we see the potential for BCS technology to expand into these markets."

Mr Teo said the acquisition, scheduled to complete at the end of December, allows BCS to continue its growth path at the same rate, if not better.

Growth had been inhibited only by an inability  to gain  market reach rapidly, not a lack of funding, and Daifuku offered the right solution for the company at its current stage of growth, he said.

It would be 'business as usual', he said, with no reduction in staff numbers or locations.  He pointed to the increased investment in R&D as being of significant value not only in building a stronger IT sector in New Zealand, but in also offering global career paths for employees.

Masaki Hojo, President and CEO of Daifuku said the company had previous experience in investing in New Zealand, when it took a stake in the early 1990s via Auckland UniServices Ltd into the inductive power transfer technology developed at the University of Auckland. Daifuku invested heavily in their research, creating the world's first fully controllable IPT system.

"We see significant potential in BCS and its flagship products and solutions, and we are very excited about investing in more R&D from New Zealand.  New Zealand has a reputation for very good, smart and robust innovation and we regard this as an area we want to invest in and grow."

All BCS current management and staff structures will remain, and Daifuku will take a minority position of up to two directors, on the board of six chaired by Jim Doyle.

Mr Teo said there would be no change to the 400+ staff employed within BCS across NZ, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, USA and Mexico.

"Our focus remains the same; creating smarter technology faster, and we are well down the track in discussions as to how this can be rolled out not only in Daifuku's baggage handling but right across the Daifuku Group.

More information

Patrick Teo, BCS - +64 21 544 959.


About Daifuku Co., Ltd.

Daifuku Co., Ltd. is the world's top manufacturer and supplier of automated material handling systems and software to the automotive, airport, semiconductor and LCD equipment, and general industry markets. Daifuku, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, is headquartered in Osaka, Japan, with sales and service offices throughout the world. The Company was founded in 1937.

About BCS Group Limited

BCS is a synergistic group of technology companies with its headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand. BCS core business operates in the aviation sector with complimentary business in the adjacent verticals of logistics and industrial. Founded in 1993, its expertise lies in hardware solutions, automation controls and smart in-house software solutions, which has made BCS supplier of choice to airports, airlines, freight and industrial customers across Australia and around the globe.

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