Cardiff AWP pioneer Mike McCarthy dies aged 77

Mike McCarthy
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Mike McCarthy, who founded Cardiff-based machine suppliers Signet and Thesis Electronics before entering property development, has died aged 77 aboard his yacht in Majorca.


Having started out in sales with Ace Coin Equipment in the 1960s, McCarthy established his first AWP business in 1967, before founding commercial property developer Rightacres in 1973.

“He was a larger-than-life character who always had a streak of brilliance about what he did,” said InterGame’s David Snook. “He had an immediate understanding of what the industry needed and wasted no time in providing a solution.”

“I remember many occasions travelling to Cardiff for Coinslot and meeting Mike and Arthur Thomas, who was his right-hand man at Signet and Thesis, for meetings and nights-out in the city. He has been out of the industry for many years; but he left an indelible mark upon its early formative years.”

McCarthy founded Signet in 1967, having left Ace Coin Equipment prior to its move to Ferry Road, setting up Thesis Electronics two years later.

Both companies were sold to Associated Leisure in 1973, with McCarthy then founding Rightacres, which began by refurbishing a row of terraced houses in Pontcanna, Cardiff, and is now responsible for developments such as the city’s Central Square and the upcoming £1bn Central Quay project.

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