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speedline sale



speedline sale | 5 November, 2003

cookson has announced sale of speedline final

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speedline sale | 5 November, 2003

The new buyer is reported to be 'KPS Special situation fund II LP'

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Mike Konrad


speedline sale | 5 November, 2003

Here's the official press release...

New York, NY (November 5, 2003) -- KPS Special Situations Fund II announced today that it has acquired the stock and related assets of Speedline Technologies, Inc. from Cookson Group, plc for a total consideration of approximately $10 million. Speedline's management will continue to manage the company, under the Speedline Technologies name, following the acquisition.

Based in Franklin, MA, Speedline is a leading global producer of manufacturing equipment and services for the printed circuit board and semiconductor packaging industries. Speedline's four core product lines - MPM�, Electrovert�, Accel�, and Camalot� -- and its Protect services together provide a comprehensive product and service line for customer's Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and Semiconductor Packaging requirements. Speedline has the largest installed base in the SMT industry and its clients include many of the world's blue-chip electronics companies.

KPS acquired the stock and related assets of Speedline Technologies, Inc. through a newly formed company. KPS will invest substantial capital in the new company to fund working capital requirements at Speedline. KPS will use its operational expertise to implement a strategy designed to improve the performance of the company, capitalizing on its strong brands and leadership positions in the markets that it serves.

"We are excited about the potential of the Speedline business and being involved in its emergence as a vibrant independent company," said David Shapiro, a Founding and Managing Principal of KPS. "This is a company with a premier global franchise operating in a challenging industry environment and we are confident that with a solid financial foundation and our operational and management expertise that Speedline is positioned for rapid growth in a recovering economy."

Speedline's President, Pierre de Villemejane, commented, "KPS' commitment to Speedline validates the quality of our assets, management and employees. KPS has the financial resources to make a significant investment in Speedline, giving us the opportunity to continue developing world-class products and services. We will emerge from this process with a well capitalized balance sheet and the financial strength to withstand a prolonged market recession, but also well positioned for long-term growth in a competitive capital equipment market."

About Speedline Technologies

Speedline Technologies is the global value leader for single source process expertise, solutions, and service to the PCB assembly industry. The company sells five, best-in-class brands - ACCEL microelectronics cleaning, CAMALOT dispensing and conformal coating systems, ELECTROVERT wave soldering, reflow soldering, and cleaning equipment, MPM stencil and wafer bump printing systems, and PROTECT global services, support, and training solutions. For more information, visit us at

About KPS

The KPS Special Situations Funds are a family of private equity funds focused on constructive investing in restructurings, turnarounds and other special situations. KPS has created new companies to purchase operating assets out of bankruptcy; established stand-alone entities to operate divested assets; and recapitalized highly leveraged public and private companies.

KPS' investment strategy targets companies with strong franchises, but which may be experiencing operating and financial problems. KPS invests its capital concurrently with a turnaround plan predicated on cost reduction, capital investment and capital availability. Typically, the KPS turnaround plan is accompanied by a financial restructuring of the company's liabilities. The KPS investment strategy and portfolio companies are described in detail at

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speedline sale | 6 November, 2003

What he meant to say was this: "We are extreamly excited to have absolutely stolen this business for $10 million."

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speedline sale | 7 November, 2003

rumor has it they are moving some of their assembly operations to franklin from camdenton and closing the spare parts hub in illinois-has anyone else heard this?is this a good thing?

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speedline sale | 7 November, 2003

It was not stolen, it was disposed

Cookson profits from cost-cutting

Electronics and ceramics group Cookson has taken heart from half-year results as all three of its divisions kept out of the red in the second quarter.

The group says a recent cost-cutting drive has helped deliver underlying profits of �5.5 million in the six months to June 30 after London-based Cookson posted losses of �11.9 million a year earlier.

Shares surged more than 10% following the update as the company, which employs 17,000 people in 35 countries, added it had been further helped by lower interest payments following a debt-busting cash call to investors last year.

Despite the improvement, Cookson said it was not prepared to wait for improved trading conditions and would continue to take action to deal with under-performing parts of the group.

That has prompted Cookson to pursue the disposal of Speedline, the loss-making equipment business of its electronics division, which specialises in circuit board manufacturing.

Chief executive Stephen Howard said the company could draw encouragement from the first half figures, which showed net debt had halved from a year ago to �364 million.

He added: "The benefits of the work that has been done to reduce Cookson's cost structure, particularly in the electronics division, are evident in these results.

"Profits increased in the first half and all three divisions were profitable in the second quarter."

Turnover at the group, which also has ceramics and precious metals divisions, fell to �827 million from �865 million as tough trading conditions hit home.

Story filed: 11:10 Tuesday 29th July 2003

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speedline sale | 8 November, 2003

Whatever Stefen. The fact of the matter is the entire Speedline division was "sold" for (40) Accuflex printers. If that's not stealing I don't know what is.

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speedline sale | 8 November, 2003

IF someone wants to sell me a brand new SUV valued at $40,000 for $500.00 and I buy it, it does not mean I stole it. Nobody made Cookson sell Speedline. If they did not like the offer, they would have waited for a higher one. Seems like You are upset because another company got an awesome bargain.

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speedline sale | 8 November, 2003

I have noticed when I call the MPM parts hotline I get Ken at MPM (Franklin). Also, my friend who has worked at mpm for over 10 years mentioned that Camelot has beem moved into the Franklin facility with MPM.

There was a large debt load on that transaction. I am not surprised at the deal that was made. I hope things go well for all those who are employed at MPM, Electrovert, Camelot and Accel (did I miss anyone?).

The last 3 years have been hard on us all. I Hope the reorginazation works out for everyone, ESPECIALLY the employees of those companies.

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speedline sale | 9 November, 2003

Oh Primus I didn't mean it literally! And it doesn't upset me at all. Amazed perhaps but

The bottom line is either the market is far worse than suspected or Cookson simply had no idea how to run and manage perhaps the best collection of brand names in the business. And to make the whole thing even more ludicrous, they sell it off right as the market/economy makes a solid turn for the better.

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speedline sale | 10 November, 2003

If I were Cookson, I would have to question why the people I was paying big bucks to run my company for the past several years, would buy my company and suddenly reduce everything in an upturn?? Shouldn't that have already been done when Cookson was paying the bills???

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speedline sale | 10 November, 2003

It appears to me, that there is a conflict between European and American management. I remember the headlines, when Mercedes bought themselves into Chrysler, that the American top managers earned almost three times as much as the Germans. I�m not saying there are no unproductive managers in Germany and on top of it, they can�t be laid off after 15 years employment in one company, but the social system makes it easy for them to go into early retirement. If not, they get a desk with a window and view and don�t mess anything up. To my humble opinion, there are too many, overpaid and unproductive managers in American companies. I do agree that the Speedline products were top of the class. I feel sorry for all the employees, who loose their jobs caused by bad management. It seems to be so difficult to change the system in management, that companies rather sell entire devisions than attempting to implement changes.

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speedline sale | 10 November, 2003

i have to agree with you all, it seems bad decisions are always the one that are made rather than the logical ones.lets just hope electrovert continues to provide us with the best and dependable solder and cleaning equipment and mpm continues as well.

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speedline sale | 11 November, 2003

It sounds to me like Electrovert is a thing of the past. They were bought by a financial clearing house company and were sold because they have been losing money consistently. The new Speedline owners have moved all of their operations to the East Coast except for Electrovert. They also laid off over 50% of the employees who had still been at Electrovert. Plus, there is no actual production going on there. Even in the press release, cleaning and wave soldering are listed as specialty applications. It sounds like a great set up for dumping this division and holding on to the profitable divisions.

And as for Electovert being the best...I would have to argue that point. Especially on the service end.

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speedline sale | 11 November, 2003

I would argue that Electrovert makes the best cleaner in the business (Aquastorm 200) and I would also argue that the Vectra and Electra waves are some of the best around. The Omniflo ovens are excellent as well. They're not going anywhere. And who's service is worth a darn these days anyways?

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speedline sale | 14 November, 2003

Actually cleaning of PCB's may see a resurgence with the lead free movement. Higher temps and more aggresive fluxes might need to be clean depending on your board and process. In addition Wave soldering solder pots (in some cases machines) may have to be exchanged out with the type of lead free you are choosing.


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SMTnet Admin


speedline sale | 17 November, 2003

Several message have been deleted from this thread and it has been locked.

Threads like this have the dubious distinction of making insider news for this community while, at the same time potentially vilifying corporate decisions to the point of slander. In the end game no doubt Cookson believes that they have done the correct thing for their stockholders; only time will tell whether this decision was right or wrong. We seek to run a technical forum here. Yet, at the same time, we are faced with perhaps the biggest news to come out of the capital equipment races in the last 20 years. Now, even if someone from Cookson could be found who cared to give equal time to this subject, the tenor of the last couple postings have degraded this thread to personal get-even-with-them'ism -- presumably from some obviously hurt and bitter individuals caught in the fallout of this decision. Far be it from me to diminish the anguish of those who've lost these jobs, but heaven knows there has been much blood letting in this last half decade as our industry is being pounded with economic uncertainties and the specter of enormous change as we in America evolve from a manufacturing economy into something else. Discussions on how this fundamental shift will affect all those in manufacturing are encouraged on this site, but, at the same time, we must realize the fine line between who or what is appropriate to vent about in private conversation and that which is made public when we start naming names in our mostly anonymous forum.. Please be mindful of the over 13,000 members and the high monthly traffic. I ask you to consider the news- making potential of the SMTnet forums and refrain from abusing the freedom of speech that this forum and our advertisers provide for us.

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