Radiant Power's aircraft firm to expand in Manatee, add 26 jobs

jsalman@bradenton.comJuly 9, 2012 

MANATEE -- Radiant Power Corp. will expand its existing plant in Manatee County and add 26 jobs during the next five years to accommodate growth with the company's aircraft power distribution products.

Radiant purchased a Pennsylvania aviation firm in April, and has moved those operations to its 20,000-square-foot headquarters near the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

Work is now under way at a vacant bay adjacent to its existing space in the commercial park, owned by Benderson Development Co., which will expand Radiant's facility by another 6,300 square feet.

The company hopes to move in by late August, tearing the wall down between the two plants, said Radiant President Anish Patel.

"The acquisition moves us into more passenger comfort and power distribution," Patel said. "These will be growth areas for us based on those product lines."

Heico Corp., the parent company of Radiant, paid cash this year to acquire the assets of privately held Moritz Aerospace Inc. in Hatfield, Pa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The expansion will grow Radiant's payroll by one-third to reach a total of about 80 employees during the next five years.

The Manatee County Commission approved $26,000 in performance-based incentives and an estimated $1,343 in transportation impact fee credits to facilitate the expansion. The 26 jobs that Radiant Power plans to add will pay 15 percent more than the county's average wage, according to the Manatee Economic Development Corp.

Radiant specializes in cabin and back-up power suppliers for commercial aircraft, which are used in all models of Boeing now in production.

About half of its total revenues come from the power control segment, anchored by electronic battery backups for emergency situations. The manufacturer even makes a backup for black boxes so when a plane loses power, the pilots are still recorded.

Radiant also produces passenger comfort products including the back massage and chair recline systems used in private business planes.

From a fully integrated facility at 7135 16th St. E,

the company houses its sales team, support staff, human resources, finance and assembly.

Radiant was acquired by Heico in 1999 and relocated its facility to Manatee soon after.

"It's encouraging to see Manatee County's aviation sector expanding again," EDC President Sharon Hillstrom said in a statement. "The knowledge-based jobs that predominate in manufacturing related to aviation and avionics tend to pay higher wages."

Heico operates about 30 independent aviation facilities similar to Radiant across the globe.

The parent company reported operating income of $37.6 million during the three months ended April 30, up 14 percent from the same time the year before, according to its latest filing with the Security Exchange Commission.

The company holds $1.17 billion in total assets, with $216.3 million in quarterly net sales, records show.

Most of the new jobs will be in production, although four engineering positions probably will be added. Job candidates may send their resumes or inquiries to hr@radiantpowercorp.com.

Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @JoshSalman

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