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PCB | March 02, 2007

US PCB maker Photocircuits to close

45 day shut-down schedule to commence; operations will continue to finish work with existing customers while discussions with potential buyers continue Foreign competition created a situation “too dire to continue."
Since 1951 Photocircuits has manufactured Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) at a facility in Glen Cove. PCBs are the connectors of all electronic circuitry found, for example, in cars, consumer electronics and military technology. Historically, Photocircuits has been a leading provider of PCBs to companies such as Lockheed Martin, Tyco Power, Hitachi, Evertz and Benchmark. Automotive clients have generally represented between 10-15% of company sales.

Photocircuits Corporation, under previous ownership, filed for Chapter 11 in October 2005. American Pacific Financial Corporation purchased the company in 2006 and formed Photocircuits Corporation as a Nevada corporation to continue operations of the business.

The company, under previous ownership, had shut down operations in Atlanta, Georgia.

In order to continue operations at the Glen Cove facility, which has over 700 employees, Photocircuits, once out of earlier bankruptcy, spent a significant amount on operations. Despite these efforts revenues continued their downward slide. In 1999 Photocircuits had revenues of $419 million; in 2005 revenues were $163 million. 2006's revenues are estimated at $84 million.

“The Board of Directors determined that despite best efforts to keep this facility open, foreign competition created a situation just too dire to continue," said Photocircuits spokesman Michael Tobman. “Because overhead costs – and by that the Board doesn't mean labor – are at a level so far above what PCB manufacturers in Asia face, continuing at the plant would be unrealistic despite generous accommodations from the Long Island Power Authority and the support of Nassau County public officials."

“The Glen Cove facility took shape in a very ramshackle sort of way," Tobman added. “Buildings were added over a course of decades as needed. As such, components and materials have to be moved from point A in the facility to a distant point B. It made for a very inefficient process."

“The company does not expect to be filing for bankruptcy protection. New tenants and productive uses for the campus are being sought. Photocircuits is in discussions with potential buyers and is looking to provide alternate sources for its customers and is hopeful that potential buyers would offer current employees new positions," Tobman concluded.

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