News in brief

Rivers of steel

Oscar-winning box-office hit The Full Monty notwithstanding, Sheffield council has another crowd puller in the making. A steel theme park is to open on the site of a former rolling mill. Attractions include a simulated ride down a river of molten steel.

Foreigners buy up

Foreign takeovers of British engineering firms remained at record levels in 1997 according to KPMG Corporate Finance. Acquisitions of UK electrical and electronic, mechanical and instrument engineering firms by foreign buyers were valued at £1.5bn last year. American companies led the race to buy up UK engineers, accounting for eight of the top 10 cross-border deals.

Rubicon arms sold

Schroder Ventures, a private equity provider, has acquired two divisions from Rubicon for £62m lead processor Calder Industrial Materials with a turnover of £74m and 500 staff in seven plants across Europe, and Metal Castings, a £48m turnover producer of aluminium high pressure die castings, with plants in Worcester and Wolverhampton.

Growing sensors

The market for fibre optic sensors is expected to grow from £40.6m in 1997 to £76m in 2004 due to technological advances, according to marketing consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

Tew Engineering

There is no connection between Nottingham-based Tew Engineering and Tews Engineering of Hampshire. ‘Tews fined over injury’ The Engineer, 12 March, page 8, referred to Tews Engineering only.

Anglia rolling stock

Adtranz UK & Ireland, the Derby-based rolling stock manufacturer, has won a £26m order for eight three-car diesel trains, with an option on a further 12 trains. The trains will be built for Anglia Railways.