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August 19th, 2015
FURUNO of Japan invest in NZ Hi-Tech Marine Company

Auckland, New Zealand—ENL Group and FURUNO Electric Co. Ltd of Japan have announced that FURUNO has increased its investment into the New Zealand company to a total of 29.5%. The new level of investment is an increase from the initial 10% announced in July 2014.

ENL, founded in 1945, has an impressive and unbroken 70-year history in the marine electronics industry. The company has also represented FURUNO in the New Zealand market for over 50 years.

ENL manufactures WASSP, their award winning multibeam sonar system, which produces 3D topographic imagery of the seafloor and associated fish detection and is regarded as a technology showcase for New Zealand’s high-end software expertise.

Since its commercial introduction in 2006, WASSP has established itself as a major leader in this specialised and technically demanding market with significant numbers of systems sold into sectors such as commercial fishing, defence, survey & mapping and super-yacht applications.

The undeniable synergy between ENL and FURUNO spans the last 50 years and even more so in recent times with ENL’s in-house development of the world class WASSP multibeam sonar range further cemented by this new announcement.

The collaborative partnership will see ENL continue to work closely with the FURUNO Product Planning Division on specialist projects offering the voice of the customer user requirements for the low-end leisure and commercial fishing sectors.

Independent distribution of FURUNO in the New Zealand sector will remain with a focus on growing its footprint supporting FURUNO in the South Pacific region.

ENL Group Managing Director Gareth Hodson says the increased investment is a significant step for the company.

“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,” says Mr Hodson.

FURUNO Electric Co. Ltd Managing Director Muneyuki Koike has high expectations from this investment into the New Zealand based company.

“ENL’s multibeam technology will be an essential element in our product portfolio and we will leverage the technology for all kinds of maritime customers from professional fishermen to recreational boaters. This is a natural step for us due to the synergy between the two companies which has been cultivated throughout the decades,” says Mr Koike.

Since 2010 ENL has grown from a traditional family business to an established and world renowned high-tech exporter including R&D, Product Management and Manufacturing with a key international stakeholder in FURUNO.

A key ‘vision’ for ENL has been the development of technology that protects the ocean environment.

“When using WASSP multibeam sonar for professional fishing applications, our New Zealand made technology helps operators target the correct fish species, resulting in less by-catch. In addition the detailed survey grade bottom profiling provides fishermen with feature rich tools to aid in protecting the environment and enable a sustainable fishery.”

After establishing a key role of WASSP Sales Manager in Europe to support their existing strong EU customer base this year, ENL will continue to focus on international market growth in all sectors through various channels to market.

“A key focus for WASSP over the next 12 months is to increase our presence in South America, Indonesia, and Asia regions,” says Mr Hodson.

“In addition to new market focus, with our very cost effective WASSP Model WMB-3250 which meets the International Hydrographic Office Standard 1a for Survey and Mapping & Dredging Applications, we will look to grow our business in this segment alongside commercial fishing.”