Electronic Navigation Ltd (ENL), New Zealand’s largest marine electronics company and the developer of the award winning WASSP sonar, and FURUNO Electric Co., Ltd of Japan, one of the most respected manufacturers in the marine electronics industry globally, are joining forces. In a joint announcement ENL and FURUNO have announced that FURUNO will take an initial 10% shareholding in ENL and its wholly owned subsidiary WASSP Ltd.
This major investment reflects not only ENL’s and FURUNO’s near 50-year relationship with ENL representing and supporting FURUNO’s products to the commercial fishing industry and recreational markets in New Zealand and the wider Pacific territory, but also the opportunities and forward looking growth that the two companies see can be capitalised on with technical and financial collaboration.
“ENL has pioneered many innovations in multi-beam sonar technology. Their technology-oriented focus is 100% synchronized with ours as FURUNO is accredited with commercializing the worlds 1st fish finder in 1948.” said Mike Koike, Managing Director of FURUNO Electric Co., Ltd. “ENL is known for its excellent customer support, and we look forward to deepening the relationship between ENL and FURUNO even more now that ENL is part of our family. Both companies are committed to developing superior technology and contributing to the safety and enjoyment of all mariners around the world.”
The core strength behind ENL’s success is the company’s innovative approach to problem solving, its world-class signal processing technology and its people and culture are well aligned with the world leading technology of FURUNO whose markets extend from commercial fishing & merchant shipping through to specialist medical instruments and GPS modules for the automotive and broadcasting industries.
ENL, founded in 1945, has an impressive and unbroken 69-year track record in the marine electronics industry and that remains at its centre today. Representing FURUNO for some 50-years it also has employed and trained countless engineers and people many of who have gone onto establishing their own businesses successfully or moved into the wider global marine business.
ENL’s WASSP is a multi-award winning multi-beam system, which produces 3D topographic imagery of the seafloor and associated fish detection and is regarded as a technology showcase for New Zealand’s hi-end software expertise. Since its commercial introduction in 2006, WASSP has established itself as a major player in this specialised and technically demanding market with over 700 systems shipped to date to customers worldwide in markets covering commercial fishing, defence, survey & mapping and super-yacht applications.
From its inception in 1938, FURUNO has grown to be the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of marine electronics with a 75 billion Yen annual revenue (or NZ$850 million). With over 20 offices worldwide and employing over 2500 people its brand is recognised globally and is synonymous with quality electronics that maritime industry has come to rely on. In recent years its expertise in technology development has seen it extend its reach into other markets such as ICT and medical industries.
This key stake-holding will also enhance and accelerate a number of joint R&D collaborations for new products already in the pipeline and underpin ENL’s objective of being a world-class developer of marine acoustic technology.
Gareth Hodson, Managing Director of ENL said: “This strategic alliance is the most significant milestone in our 69 year history. FURUNO’s financial investment in ENL will strengthen our position in the New Zealand and South Pacific sector with the FURUNO brand, together with numerous opportunities to expand our R&D and global export business from New Zealand”.