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© dr911-dreamstime.com Electronics Production | July 31, 2014

Gould Electronics closes shop

Gould Electronics announces the plant closure in Eichstetten (Germany) by the end of 2014, followed by liquidation of the company.
JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation, Tokyo, disclosed that it intends to restructure its electro deposited copper foil business. This affects facilities in Japan, the Philippines and Germany. In the course of the restructuring, the Gould Electronics GmbH plant, a wholly owned subsidiary of JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation is targeted to be closed by the end of 2014, and then liquidated. This action affects approximately 160 employees at the facility in Eichstetten, which is located near Freiburg.

This restructuring comes against the background of a shrinking market in Europe, high overcapacity and an ongoing erosion of prices, partly triggered by subsidized manufacturers from China and other Asian countries. Large losses over previous years and no prospects of returning to profitable production in Germany have forced JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation to take this step. The JX Nippon Mining & Metals and the German Board expressly regret the fact that market changes have made closure of the Eichstetten works necessary, a press release states.

Gould Electronics was established in 1961. In 2008 and 2009, the company attempted to reposition itself with financial assistance from the Japanese parent company. However, the turn-round was unsuccessful in the difficult market environment.

Gould Electronics stresses that an orderly closure of the plant is planned prior to the liquidation, and all actions will take into account the interests of all stakeholders. Thomas Zipfel, President of Gould Electronics, said: “We are endeavouring in this difficult situation to achieve a fair end for employees, customers and partners.”

Thomas Zipfel, who has worked for Gould Electronics for over 25 years, including the past 12 years as Managing Director, continues: “We shall ensure the orderly fulfilment of existing delivery commitments.”

To ensure a professional liquidation, JX Nippon Mining & Metals has brought Wolfgang Kottenberg, an experienced Düsseldorf-based consultant, onto the team. Kottenberg’s aim is to negotiate an acceptable severance plan and reconciliation of interests with the works council as quickly as possible and within the available resources. It is planned to keep all employees working full-time until the end of the year in order to keep the facility operational.

It is our intent to ensure that as many employees as possible find new jobs. Kottenberg says: “The Japanese parent company is doing everything it can to cushion the loss of jobs for employees. One positive aspect is that the job market in the Freiburg region is currently good for qualified specialists.” Kottenberg adds: “Very soon we shall actively talk with every employee with a view to exploring and improving their prospects for future employment.”

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