Arotech to expand Hanahan operation

Arotech bought UEC Electronics in April.

The company that owns a Hanahan maker of electronic components is moving its Alabama battery division to the Charleston region under a plan to unify the two like-minded businesses.

Arotech Corp. said it plans to relocate its Auburn-based power systems subsidiary and key personnel to UEC Electronics off Yeamans Hall Road in early 2015.

The move of Electric Fuel Battery Corp. will be completed by March 31, the company said.

The shift follows Arotech's April acquisition of UEC in a stock and cash deal valued at more than $32 million.

"Combining the domestic facilities of our power systems division under one roof will not only enable us to lower overhead costs, it will also allow all parts of the division to better work together and unleash the synergies from the acquisition of UEC earlier this year," Arotech CEO Steven Esses said in a statement Tuesday. "Our advanced engineering and manufacturing facility in Charleston ... was designed for growth and can easily support the additional capacity."

The Berkeley County technology company has about 200 employees who make an array of electronic products, including equipment that collects and stores energy, primarily for military, aerospace and industrial customers.

Rebecca Ufkes, president of UEC, said the consolidation will add 17 to 20 jobs to the Hanahan operation.

"It's a nice thing for us," she said Tuesday.

The power-systems division is one of two businesses owned by Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Arotech. The subsidiary generated $33.1 million in sales through the third quarter this year, or 44 percent of the parent company's total revenue over that period.

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Ufkes said the Alabama site makes products similar to those made in Hanahan.

"We'll leverage a lot of the equipment and expertise that we have in addition to what they bring to the table," she said. "Their products actually dovetail quite nicely with our energy collection, energy storage and power-management solutions and products."

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.