North Technology Group (NTG) announced on Nov. 5 the acquisition of Future Fibres (Valencia, Spain) by NTG subsidiary Southern Spars. Founded 20 years ago by Tom Hutchinson, Future Fibres is a marine industry leader in high-performance carbon fiber cables, masts, booms, spreaders and custom components.
NTG says that combining these two industry leaders allows Southern Spars the ability develop additional technology for its products, services and high-performance solutions, in the marine industry and beyond.
“Future Fibres has long been an innovator in the field of advanced fibre rigging,” says Tom Whidden, CEO of North Technology Group. “With NTG’s support, Southern Spars now has the resources to provide our customers with a wider range of advanced rigging options. Future Fibres has been built on three main brand values: performance, innovation and dedication. We see the same values within the companies that derive North Technology Group. This made acquiring Future Fibres a natural fit.”
Future Fibres first entered the composite rigging market after Hutchinson devised a way to better terminate composite fibers by continuously winding PBO fibre around two titanium thimbles at any required length. Future Fibres’ approach has allowed composite rigging to be used on every area of the boat and not restricted to just aft rigging as it historically was before.
“The team at Southern Spars is excited about the acquisition of Future Fibres,” says Richard Lott, CEO of Southern Spars. “The mast and rigging market is quite depressed after the GFC [global financial crisis], which has been putting pressure on Southern Spars and Future Fibres’ business. However, the Future Fibres team have developed some advanced mast moulding technologies which complement our advanced computerbased rig design tools. The combination of technologies and engineering excellence will provide a refined and optimised rig solution for every customer in the future.”
“Future Fibres’ DNA is technology-based and customer friendly,” explains Hutchinson. “The ability continue to innovate with North Technology Group is something that will allow my original dream to prosper. I very much look forward to working with all at Southern Spars and all of NTG.”