Business

Hawk-Eye ball-tracking firm bought by Sony

  • 7 March 2011
  • From the section Business
Roger Federer and Hawk-Eye
Image caption Hawk-Eye is used at Wimbledon when players challenge line calls

Hawk-Eye, the UK company firm behind ball-tracking technology, has sold the firm to electronics giant Sony for an undisclosed sum.

The Winchester firm makes ball-tracking technology for tennis and cricket.

With Fifa agreeing to extend its experiments with goal-line technology there potentially may also be future openings in football.

Hawk-Eye inventor Paul Hawkins said the takeover by Sony created "immense opportunities for the sports industry".

The device is also used in snooker.

The purchase includes all intellectual property rights, Hawk-Eye's current full time staff as well as its technology, software and engineering.

Expansion

Hawk-Eye was put up for sale last September by its owners, who include Mark Getty, a member of the wealthy US business dynasty,

They had hoped to attract a big company that could help the firm expand.

Despite its high-profile brand name, Winchester-based Hawk-Eye is a relatively small company with profits of £1.1m last year.

Last autumn, it said it expected to make a profit of £1.8m this year, reflecting expansion in the tennis world in particular.

Calls for goal-line technology in football increased after the World Cup tournament in South Africa when England's Frank Lampard had a goal disallowed against Germany.

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