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PCB | July 22, 2009

Zevens Group to take over RUWEL’s Pfullingen plant

A solution for the future is becoming apparent for the Swabian plant of the Geldern/Lower Rhine-based RUWEL GmbH. The insolvency administrator Horst Piepenburg had announced that the Pfullingen plant would not be able to continue its business activities on its own after 31st August.

The former owner of RUWEL, Bernd Zevens, has now submitted an offer to take over the Pfullingen plant as from 1st September 2009. The Kleve businessman had acquired RUWEL in 1993 and expanded the company to become the largest PCB producer in Europe by purchasing five other plants. The Pfullingen plant, newly built in 1991, was integrated into the Group in 1994. Until 2001 he actively managed the RUWEL Group before becoming chairman of the board, and resigned from that post after having sold the company in 2006. In his various activities Zevens has focussed on national, mostly regional commitments. The Pfullingen plant produces samples, small- and medium-size series of double-sided printed circuit boards, multilayers up to 20 layers, and highly complex circuits in laser-microvia technology. The main sales markets are industrial electronics and medical technology. The customers are located mainly in southern Germany. Bernd Zevens, who is still bound by contract to Pfullingen, aims to let the factory operate independently in the long run with the described product portfolio. "Owing to the contractual relationship and for strategic considerations it therefore makes sense to re-include the Pfullingen plant - a plant not unknown to me - in my Group", Zevens explains his offer to the insolvency administrator. As for details of the offer itself, the parties have agreed to maintain strict silence. Since the orders position has stabilised, insolvency administrator Horst Piepenburg will definitely be able to continue managing the RUWEL headquarters in Geldern/Lower Rhine until the end of the year. With a workforce of about 220, the Geldern plant has now reached an operating size that will be economic in the long run. The two plants in Geldern and Pfullingen complement each other in terms of the job lot sizes on offer. Their product ranges scarcely overlap. As some customers have to date been able to be served by way of dividing labour between the two plants, the idea is for both plants to continue cooperating in the future.
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