Julie Kenny has sold her £25m turnover Rotherham manufacturing business to a Chinese firm in a move she says made her “pleased and sad.”
The founder of Pyronix, a security equipment manufacturer, said the sale to Hikvision would ensure the best future for the business. And she would be able take weekends off after two hectic years.
Julie Kenny, CBE DL, set up Pryonix almost 30 years ago. Today it employs 200 and has 23 vacancies.
Ms Kenny, aged 58, will continue as a consultant to the company and carry on as an intervention commissioner at Rotherham Council, a member of the Local Enterprise Partnership board and a strong supporter of turning stately home Wentworth Woodhouse into a visitor attraction.
She said: “This acquisition represents a huge opportunity for Pyronix, Rotherham, and the region. The foreign direct investment that this will bring to the UK will be huge.
“I’m pleased and sad. I’ll be able to have weekends off and see my children and grandchildren. But I have a connection with all the staff.
“For the business it’s a big, big plus, it’s the right thing for the future. Technology is moving so quickly with the cloud and apps and so many large companies getting involved. We needed to be able to scale up quickly.
“It also shows we have companies that the Chinese want to invest in.”
Ms Kenny will continue in a consultancy role.
Hikvision is a £2.62bn turnover business and one of the world’s largest video surveillance manufacturers. Pyronix will be its first factory outside China.
Jiang Feng Zhi, chairman of Pyronix, said he wanted to dramatically expand UK operations.
He added: “We are delighted to welcome Pyronix to Hikvision group, and we look forward to growing the business through introduction of intruder alarm products to the global market.”
Hikvision plans to apply Pyronix expertise and know-how in intruder detection systems to its video surveillance products.
Pyronix was advised by Irwin Mitchell.