10/08/2004 - 22:00

Millipede ties up new Royal Navy contract

10/08/2004 - 22:00


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Plastic tie fastening company Millipede International has won a contract to assist in the construction of a new warship for the British Royal Navy.

Millipede ties up new Royal Navy contract

Plastic tie fastening company Millipede International has won a contract to assist in the construction of a new warship for the British Royal Navy.

It’s a contract the company hopes will greatly facilitate its global expansion.

Millipede International owns the global sales rights to the Mille Tie, a soft plastic tie that self-adjusts when fastened (preventing compression and loss of bandwidth in electronic wiring), which it says will revolutionise the fastening industry.

Millipede’s Heavy Duty Mille Ties are to be used in the warship’s state-of-the-art fibre optical communication systems.

It is also anticipated the company will secure further supply contracts with construction of a further three destroyers and two aircraft carriers planned.

The defence contract follows several other significant announcements for the company, however Millipede chairman Ray Badnall said the naval contract was particularly encouraging.

Millipede already is recognised within the Telco industry – UK giant British Telecom has specified it as its preferred fastener of category six cable installations – as well as by the horticultural industry.

But the defence work is something new.

Subiaco-based Millipede has been hoping its product will revolutionise the worldwide fastening industry since it obtained the rights when it listed on the ASX in 2001.

“We expect an explosion at any time,” Mr Badnall said.

“We liken it to the Post-it Notes. At first only a few people used them, now every body uses them.”

The process so far has been slower than expected, however.

“We have to convince people to leave their old supplier and go with a completely new product,” Mr Badnall said.

He said the company suffered a setback after the dot.com bubble burst four years ago, while last year a driving force of the business, managing director Vincent de Villers, left.

Despite this Mr Badnall said more recent success in the US was making “things happen a lot faster”.

Millipede has secured co-labelling agreements with US cabling giants Krone and Erico.

He said the US operations were now cash-flow positive and with the British Navy contract, the UK operations were improving.

Key to Millipede’s success is a strong marketing strategy to become recognised as a revolutionary new product, which is followed up by product-specific training programs.

Mr Badnall said the plan was to further develop the US and UK markets as well as tap in to the Australian market.

Mt Badnall, a former SingTel Optus Australia network operations director, said the company was currently in discussions with major Australian telcos and was looking for an Australian manufacturer.

He also said Millipede would be targeting the Asian market in the future.


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