Jim Cattron, founder and chairman of remote control company Cattron-Theimeg has retired after 57 years and sold the majority of his stake in Cattron-Theimeg’s parent company, the Cattron Group, to investment firm Weatherly Private Capital. He has sold the minority to a group of Cattron senior managers.

Tom McFall, a principal of Weatherley, has been elected chairman. RFI Investment Partners and Argosy Investment Partners have also contributed significant capital.

Cattron-Theimeg has a total installed base of over 100,000 remote controlled systems globally in a variety of industries including railroads, shipyards, mining, aerospace, steel, military, material handling and many more. It has operations in the USA, Canada, UK, South Africa, Brazil and Europe.

Cattron started the business in 1946 as the first authorised Motorola Service Station, repairing two-way radios for police and fire departments.

His first claim to fame was in 1957, when he was able to use his own communication receiver to track the orbit of Soviet satellite Sputnik after the U.S. Government announced that the satellite must have burned up because it was no longer transmitting. In fact, it had only stopped transmitting on one of its two frequencies. The Government, which had earlier claimed that his information was false, later recanted and admitted that Sputnik was still in orbit.