South Africa company buys majority interest in Tripmaster

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Tripmaster Corp. has announced the acquisition of a majority shareholding in Tripmaster by Control Instruments Group Ltd. of South Africa. Richard M. Geib, former majority owner and chief executive officer, will continue as president and CEO and as a minority investor in the company. Tripmaster will continue selling and supporting its products in North America from its U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Texas.

Control Instruments designs, manufactures and owns the intellectual property for the Fleet Manager range of onboard computers that have been sold worldwide under the Siemens VDO FM brand for nearly 10 years. Together, CI and Tripmaster will have a combined installed user base of 250,000 onboard computers and telematics units in more than 40 countries.

“Tripmaster founded the U.S. onboard electronic recording business in the 1970s and continues today as an experienced industry leader and innovator,” Geib says. “The affiliation with Control Instruments brings world-class experience, technology, development and manufacturing capability to Tripmaster. Control Instruments really knows this business, and our cultures are remarkably similar. Control Instruments can bring an international perspective and capability to Tripmaster.”

Tripmaster onboard computer products originally were developed by Rockwell International, later ArvinMeritor. Affiliated with Tripmaster since 1983 as a reseller, Geib and a group of investors bought the Tripmaster assets from Meritor Automotive in 1999, and Geib subsequently acquired 100 percent ownership in 2004.

Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Cape Town, Control Instruments is a supplier of automotive electronics products to original equipment manufacturers such as Daimler Chrysler, BMW, Toyota Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors worldwide; a major distributor of automotive aftermarket products; and a developer and manufacturer of fleet management products, software and services to fleets worldwide.

“The Tripmaster investment fits well with the group’s strategy of expanding into niche segments of large markets,” says Richard Friedman, Control Instruments managing director and CEO. “We are confident that a combination of Control Instruments technology and Tripmaster’s expertise will be successful and, more importantly, will offer North American customers access to leading technology.”