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SMT & Inspection | June 20, 2006

Electra Polymers Acquires Inks Business<br>from Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials

Electra Polymers Limited, a specialist manufacturer of resists and coatings for the electronics industry, announces it has acquired the Ronascreen™ inks and soldermask business from Rohm and Haas, together with its Durashield™ V42 thick copper technology filler products.

In a move that clearly demonstrates its ongoing commitment to the PCB industry, Electra Polymers Limited has bought Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials' inks business. Incorporating soldermasks, legend inks, marking inks and etch resists, the range complements and strengthens Electra's current range of inks and soldermasks, confirming the company's position as a leading player in the supply of specialist materials to the global PCB and automotive electronics industries. Together with the Ronascreen™ product line, Electra has also acquired Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials' Durashield™ V42 high-performance thick copper technology for automotive electronics; further expanding Electra's portfolio of high reliability coatings and giving it access to the heavy copper filler business. Electra's Sales and Marketing Director, Shaun Tibbals, explains: “Automotive electronics is extremely demanding in terms of insulation properties and environmental testing. The Durashield™ products offer many advantages to high volume production of heavy copper circuitry that is becoming more and more common in the industry. Already granted the requisite approvals, the Durashield™ product line opens the doors for us into this sector and will also create opportunities for its current and prospective users to evaluate other products from the Electra range”. “Electra expects to see a significant increase in sales as a result of this acquisition”, says Tibbals. “By adding the Ronascreen™ and Durashield™ brands to our own range, we grow our business, expand our customer base and strengthen our ability to continue to deliver high class products to the PCB industry”. He notes that PCB manufacturers, who are increasingly questioning the “one-stop-shop” approach, are now turning to specialist companies like Electra, who can offer in-depth product and manufacturing support services and who invest in products. “In order to remain competitive you have to put R&D effort behind your products. The Ronascreen™ product line has been developed over the years by leading, innovative companies such as Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials, LeaRonal, Morton, Shipley, Hoechst and now, through this acquisition, we are acquiring extensive levels of technological know-how. But the development doesn't stop here; we see a huge opportunity to be able to take this intellectual property, combine it with the experience and expertise within Electra and make much more of the products and their enormous potential, all to the benefit of our customers”, explains Tibbals. The acquisition involves the transfer to Electra of intellectual property, product formulations and know-how and the existing global customer base, fitting well with the distribution of Electra's current business. Tibbals: “While this does not give us new geographical markets, and although we already have a range of world-class soldermasks and inks for the PCB industry, it does give us access into new sectors”. The handover of the business is already underway and will be carefully managed over the coming months, by both companies, to ensure that customers enjoy a seamless transition of manufacturing and sales services, to be completed by 31st July. “It's similar to our existing technology, so the transition is really more of a formality. From the customers' perspective there will be no impact on products as we will be using the same formulations, raw materials and manufacturing processes”, emphasises Tibbals. The reaction to the acquisition from the marketplace has already been positive, he says, matched from within Electra: “Our employees and sales people are excited – they know that it can only be good for them as it strengthens the company, and our distributors are pleased because it gives them new opportunities and demonstrates our long-term commitment to the business, which is important for them and for our clients. It also gives them more products to sell, while enabling us to formulate stronger, better materials that will ensure that we are all more competitive – today and into the future”.
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