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©Printca PCB | September 04, 2012

Printca jobs safe says Graphic plc managing director

We talked to David Pike, managing director, Graphic plc, and Jan Nielsen, CEO of Printca Denmark, about plans for the recently acquired company.
Graphic plc announced the acquisition of the Denmark based PCB producer Printca on Monday. It's welcome news for the Danish company which, first established in 1972, declared bankruptcy in February this year, as well as a relief for the company's 46 employees worried about their future.

Managing director of Graphic plc confirmed on Monday that the company plans to keep Printca's employees.

“Our plan is to grow the business. Not to downsize, but to grow it,” Pike said over the phone. “At the moment we need to run it as we are, but our plans in the long term is to grow the business by going out and finding new business for them. We have a very wide range of customers here and we also know a lot of potentially new customers who are looking to go into ... the space arena”.

In fact Printca's qualifications in this area was one of the driving forces behind the acquisition says Pike.

“One of the reasons why we also wanted to purchase Printca because they have the space approvals we haven't got here in the UK, which in turn means we can cover all the approvals throughout the world we require,” he explained.

Printca's customer base was also a bonus. “It's got a very good customer base which we believe will link very well to our own customer base we have and also open up new doors not only for Printca but also for our UK operations and our Chinese operations”.

Does Graphic plc plan to expand further? While they are not involved in any active acquisition negotiations the company is always on the lookout says Pike. “There are possibilities to look at North America,” he said.

Jan Nielsen, CEO, Printca

Printca's CEO, Jan Nielsen, is also positive about the acquisition, particularly has the company can leverage from Group plc investment. The bankruptcy required a short term focus and he welcomes the opportunity to shift toward long term planning.

“Some of the areas where we have had some weak points have been in the investment area in new technologies like HDI tech," he said over the phone today. " There we definitely needed to find a way forward so we can raise the investment level and also be able to fulfill the customer requirements these days with more HDI related technology".

The company is currently focused on conservative technologies in a very conservative market - "typically military and space,” says Nielsen. But this industry is moving towards finer and finer requirements and the company wants to invest in new technologies like laser imaging and laser drilling to keep up, says Nielsen.

Printca also hopes to leverage the stability of Graphic plc behind them.

“We needed to be part of a bigger group to have the confidence of the big OEMs, and some of these OEMs of course are very big companies,” he laughs. “So getting into the Graphic group will definitely give us a much better position now to be a more confident partner to a bigger OEM”.

“The employees are of course quite happy about that and of course the customer base is also happy about it. They see a big stability factor there because it's not secret that if we go away our products are quite critical so they have to re-qualify a lot of constructions if we are not there”.

Graphic Plc's production in low cost economies can help too, says Nielson. “Even defense nowadays that's also an aspect there you have prices under pressure. It is definitely a benefit to have access to some low cost production”. With reliability and tracing still a key issue, he says it is good to have someone they can source from their own group instead of sourcing someone outside.

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