A SCOTTISH leader in fibre and network solutions for the telecommunications industry is to take over a German competitor as part of a £27 million investment programme.

Emtelle, which is based in Hawick and has manufacturing plants there and in Jedburgh, yesterday announced it had acquired Moore GmbH, in a move that will help it deal with the fast-growing worldwide demand for blown fibre.

This is being driven by the huge growth in internet usage, said the company, including the internet of things. The firm has a workforce of 279 in Scotland and the deal will see Moore’s staff numbers rise to about 455 globally.

Emtelle is also investing heavily in its Scottish plants to drive innovation and training. This comes on top of a multimillion-pound global investment programme in 2015-16, of which three-quarters was in Scotland.

Mads Høgfeldt, Emtelle’s group CEO, said, “Our headquarters will remain in Hawick and this acquisition will enable us to expand our facilities and staff there still further and ensure we are well-placed for a future in which there will be increasing demand for our products.”

Moore has been producing micro ducts and high-density polythene ducts – which subdivide larger ducts to hold fibre optic cables – for more than 15 years, and serves markets throughout Europe.

Emtelle said it expected the new investment to quadruple its capacity in Germany by the end of next year.

Following the acquisition, Moore will be closed for a short time and will immediately be renamed Emtelle GmbH.

The deal will increase Emtelle’s manufacturing facilities as well as its ability to support customers globally, from Scotland and sites in Scandinavia and Germany.

“There is a natural synergy between our skillsets and product lines.

“The addition of manufacturing capability in the centre of the largest country in western Europe is a complementary expansion of our core Scandinavian and UK manufacturing capabilities,” said Høgfeldt.

“This acquisition will ensure better and more local customer service to our rapidly developing customer base.

“As a combined group, we will be able to supply the increasing global demands for fibre by adding a full manufacturing facility to our current sales team in Germany, substantially increasing our presence in a market which offers the largest FTTP [fibre to the premises] potential in Europe.

“The addition of skilled staff from Moore means we will be able to support our many customers throughout Europe even more efficiently.

“Emtelle will bring to the deal world-class manufacturing methods and processes and its technology will further enhance the efforts and dedication of the local and loyal workforce.”

Emtelle anticipates that the new investment will allow it to quadruple the capacity in Germany by the end of 2018.