In an April 26 corporate news release, Avon Rubber announced the acquisition of the business and assets of VR Technology.
VR Technology, a market leader in diving rebreather systems and dive computers, is credited with developing the first technical diving computer in the 1980s. A later rendition, the VR3, remained the industry benchmark for a number of years. In the early 1998, VR expanded into the manufacturing a closed circuit rebreathers with their first model, the Ouroboros, followed by the Sentinel LSS rebreather along with the VRx and NHeO computers several years later.
At the time of the acquisition, VR Technology was moving forward with newer technical Semi-closed rebreather, the Explorer, for Hollis Gear. But according to sources, the company had been amassing significant debt and was reaching a point of becoming insolvent.
A decision was made to sell rather than go into receivership, and Avon Rubber acquired the business, along with all its assets of Poole-headquartered VR Technology, for £3m ($4,644,000 US), which included the leased property for their subsidiary company Avon Engineering Fabrications in Picayune, Mississippi.
Avon Rubber p.l.c. is a world leader in the design, test and manufacture of advanced Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) respiratory protection solutions to the worlds military, law enforcement, first responder, emergency services, fire and industrial markets.
According to a statement issued by the company, “VR’s products and key technologies will complement and enhance Avon’s current and planned product ranges and increase respiratory protection opportunities for the group, in particular with navies around the world.”
Monday April 29, 2013, VR Technology website added their own statement that “Avon will continue to support and expand VR Technology’s recreational customer base and its existing ties with Oceanic/Hollis in the USA.”
As to what we might see in rebreather development for civilian use from Avon in the future is anyone’s guess, that department has been entirely military in the past.
For further information please visit the Group’s website www.avon‐rubber.com