Cursor Controls

NSutton

Acquired – 2018

Focus – HMI Solutions

Cursor Controls is a leading manufacturer of specialised human-machine-interface solutions including trackballs, touchpads and ruggedized keyboards. Being a descendant of the Marconi Group and with our first products originating in the 1940s, Cursor Controls has experienced a wide range of ownership structures and cultures through our history – including Private ownership, Public/Listed Groups and Private Equity – though throughout each transition, our core values and ethos remained: that of being an agile, customer-centric, innovative leader in our field. As we set out to move away from Private Equity backing, it was then vital to us to find a partner who not only understood and agreed with our long term strategic vision and the support required to help us continue the evolution of the company, but also shared our values and appreciated our culture – as it was this DNA which differentiated us in the market.

From the earliest stages of potential buyer evaluations, it was clear that discoverIE stood apart from the other parties; not only in their approach to the acquisition process – throughout which the discoverIE M&A team proved sympathetic to our concerns and interests, and keen to be as minimally disruptive as possible – but in particular, the subsequent structuring of our integration into the Group. The non-disruptive, decentralised governance model outlined allowed for – and indeed encouraged – a high level of localised autonomy which we felt would prove key to the continuation and delivery of our mid and long-term strategies.

There is always a level of nervousness in carrying out a transaction of this nature – in particular, as to whether the post-acquisition landscape truly marries with the picture painted during the acquisition process – and to this end, we were delighted to find that any concerns we had were misplaced. As we approach the 2nd anniversary of our being part of the discoverIE Group, we find ourselves in exactly the position that had been outlined by discoverIE: with Cursor Controls continuing to maintain a localised autonomy, able to leverage our size to be swift and agile in decision making – whether this be new product development and launches, or restructuring and recruitment – ultimately leaving us fast-reacting to the market, which has always been one of the core pillars to our success. In parallel, we now benefit from the strength, support and opportunities that are inherent within the discoverIE Group – with the option of considering capex investments and even strategic bolt-on acquisitions which have previously been beyond our reach.

In summary, I can confidently speak on behalf of the previous manager-shareholders – all of whom continue in their roles with the company – when I say that even with 2 years of hindsight, we remain convinced that we made the right decision in joining the discoverIE Group. Since becoming a part of the D&M division, we have achieved record results and continued to build the foundations for future growth and success. We look forward to what the future holds.

Neale Sutton
MD Cursor Controls