Condra acquires the distributor Optidrive VFD


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South African crane and hoist manufacturer Condra has acquired fellow South African iTek Drives, distributor of Invertek Drives’ Optidrive range of variable frequency drives.

Condra says the takeover can be seen as a logical development from its long-standing use of Invertek’s Optidrive range, “bringing together corporate synergies in vision and distribution that could prove useful in improving the both product delivery times and support of Optidrive installations across South Africa”.

End users will benefit from expanded technical expertise, including easier access to installation and repair skills through an expanded workforce that will soon include Condra technicians being trained and certified in drive programming and repair .

The acquisition secures Condra the supply of a key crane component: Condra says Optidrive VFDs optimize the operation of its completed cranes, “providing precisely variable motion during lift, cross-stroke and long-stroke, and smoothly changing motor speeds to eliminate ‘running.’” Inverters also optimize electrical energy consumption.

Condra Managing Director Marc Kleiner believes the deal strengthens iTek’s position as an important business partner of Invertek Drives, the UK manufacturer of the Optidrive product range, and has likely propelled iTek to a position of agency leader.

“Condra already holds a substantial stock of this product in our Johannesburg factory,” he explained, “so combined with iTek’s own stock, the acquisition effectively makes them the largest supplier of Invertek drives in the country. . Customers will benefit from the increased level of competition in the drive market as a direct result of this increased inventory.

“There will be no changes to iTek’s pricing, branding or staffing,” Kleiner continued. “The existing team will continue to run the agency as an independent business unit, selling and supporting Invertek drives as before.

“Distribution channels will remain confined to South Africa for now, but there remains the possibility of expanding distribution to Sub-Saharan Africa at Invertek’s discretion.

“We have implemented a program of scheduled visits to customers and sub-agencies to communicate the smooth change of ownership and improved product availability resulting from higher inventory.”

Kleiner pointed out that, within Condra itself, the benefits will include unfettered access to a great engine at a competitive price and the ability to advance the technology embedded in its own product more quickly.

Condra’s purchase of iTek Drives is the company’s second acquisition this year, following the March incorporation of Cape Town’s BB Cranes.

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Invertek Optidrive Eco range of variable speed drives

Marc Kleiner, Managing Director of Condra


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