Vanilla Completes Acquisition of Bela Electronic Designs


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Vanilla Electronics Ltd, with the support of Literacy Capital, has announced the completion of its first acquisition – leading electronics manufacturing services business, Bela Electronic Designs Ltd.

The strategic acquisition sees Vanilla strengthen its technical capability in providing complex electronics design and manufacturing activities, whilst providing a stronger foothold on early product development to its global manufacturing customer base.

Founded in 1986, by Mike Lafratta, Bela is now regarded as the one of the market leaders in the small to medium volume high complexity manufacturing niche. Bela have worked hard to establish an excellent reputation in the design and manufacture of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) and the management team has ensured that the business remains close to its core values based primarily on service and integrity.

Vanilla Electronics, formed in 2002, provide supply chain services to global technology manufacturers, consolidating their typically complex supply chains, leading to operational and financial benefits and longevity in the relationships. Shipping over a million parts per day from their 25,000 square foot automated warehouse, Vanilla offers a fully outsourced service. From design, material procurement, kitting, manufacturing, through to end-customer order fulfilment, product returns, warranty, repair and re-supply. 

Dan Croft, CEO at Vanilla Group, said: “Bela’s technical and highly proficient PCB design and manufacturing services perfectly complement Vanilla’s supply chain activities. The new partnership will provide manufacturing customers worldwide with a fully scalable manufacturing service, from early product design, design for manufacture support, through to volume production.”

Mike Lafratta, MD at Bela, said: “Thanks to all those who have helped me develop Bela over the past 35 years. This new collaboration is a great opportunity to provide a new level of growth. Michael, Dan and Matt will continue to develop those values that we have held close, providing excellent customer service, beyond expectations, in the field of electronic design and manufacture.

Michael Knight, Operations Director at Bela, will step-up to the position of Managing Director, leading the business with the guidance of Dan Croft and Matt Negus, CEO and CFO of the Vanilla Group. Michael said: “this exciting partnership will enable Bela to further enhance our engineering and manufacturing expertise offering our market leading capabilities to an ever-expanding premium customer base and a wider global market. The synergies between the two family businesses are compelling and with the planned investment, complimented by the desire and ambition of the team, the group can look forward to the next stage of growth with excitement and optimism.”

Vanilla continues to look at other acquisitions that add technical, regional and commercial value to the Vanilla Group and its customers.

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