Condra buys Optidrive VFD distributor11 November 2022
South African crane and hoist manufacturer Condra has bought fellow South African firm iTek Drives, a distributor of Invertek Drives’ Optidrive range of variable frequency drives (VFDs).
Condra says the takeover can be viewed as a logical development of its longstanding use of Invertek’s Optidrive range, “bringing together corporate synergies in vision and distribution likely to prove useful in improving both product delivery times and support for Optidrive installations across South Africa”.
End users will benefit from expanded technical expertise, including readier access to installation and repair skills delivered by an increased staffing that will soon include Condra technicians currently undergoing training and accreditation in drive programming and repair.
The acquisition secures for Condra the supply of a key crane component: Condra says that Optidrive VFDs optimise the operation of its completed cranes, “delivering precisely variable motion during lift, cross-travel and long-travel, and smoothly changing motor speeds to eliminate ‘stepping’”. The drives also optimise electrical energy usage.
Condra managing director Marc Kleiner believes the deal reinforces iTek’s position as an important sales partner of Invertek Drives, the UK-based manufacturer of the Optidrive product range, and has likely propelled iTek to a position of agency leadership.
“Condra already holds a substantial stock of this product at our Johannesburg factory,” he explained, “so combined with iTek’s own stock, the acquisition effectively makes it the country’s biggest supplier of Invertek drives. Customers will benefit from the increased level of competition in the drive market resulting directly from this increased stockholding.
“There will be no changes to iTek’s pricing, branding or staff,” continued Kleiner. “The existing team will continue to run the agency as an independent business unit, selling and supporting Invertek drives as before.
“Distribution channels will for the moment remain confined to South Africa, but there remains the option to extend distribution into sub-Saharan Africa at Invertek’s discretion.
“We have implemented a programme of planned visits to customers and sub-agencies to communicate the smooth change of ownership and improved product availability resulting from larger stock holdings.”
Kleiner emphasised that, within Condra itself, benefits will include unhindered access to an excellent drive at a competitive price and the ability to advance more quickly the technology incorporated in its own product.
Condra’s purchase of iTek Drives is the company’s second acquisition this year, following the incorporation in March of Cape Town’s BB Cranes.
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