Published: 13:36, 08 August 2018
| Updated: 14:06, 08 August 2018
A medical research and manufacturing company based in the county for more than 40 years has been bought by a global optical components firm.
Integrated Technologies Limited (ITL) has been a specialist in the design, development and manufacture of high-quality medical and diagnostic devices since it was founded in Ashford in 1977.
Based in Ellingham Way, the company has now been acquired by Gooch & Housego (G&H).
G&H, which is described as a "leader in photonics technology and specialist manufacturer of optical components", has been seeking ways to expand their presence in the medical sector.
ITL Group managing director Tom Cole and business development director Greg Smith will stay with the business following the takeover.
Mr Cole said: "This acquisition will further broaden our service offering and strengthen our ability to provide our customers with innovative solutions to meet their challenging needs.
"We are excited to be working with the G&H team and look forward to collectively growing our company while continuing to deliver outstanding service to the MedTech (medical technology) industry.”
In 2014, ITL became the first double winner of the Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA).
It was named best manufacturer and science and technology business of the year at the awards, which are run by Kent County Council and the KM Media Group.
It has won several KEiBAs since.
Mr Smith said: "I am pleased that ITL Group is becoming part of Gooch and Housego as the strategic fit works for both companies.
"ITL will benefit from the critical mass that G&H has and G&H will benefit from ITL’s systems approach, which will enable it to move further up the “value chain” by developing larger modules and systems for its customers.
"In addition to looking after our growing number of current customers, I foresee a lot of new opportunities being generated by this synergy and I look forward to working and growing with the G&H team.”