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Unaxis Expands Service Activities of Coating Services (Balzers) Business Unit through Acquisition of Coating operations of America’s Star Cutter Company

Published on 2006-03-22. Author : SpecialChem

With in the framework of a cooperation agreement, Balzers will take over the PVD coating operations of Gold Star Coatings, a subsidiary of the industrial tooling group Star Cutter Company. Through the acquisition of Gold Star Coatings, America's number three company in the coating industry, Balzers is expanding further its already leading position in North America. The transaction will be concluded on April 30, 2006. Going forward, Balzers will assume the function of coating partner for the tool re-sharpening service centers operated by Star and SU, and sold through Star SU in the US, Canada and Mexico. In addition, Balzers will also open an in-house coating center in the gear tool manufacturing operation of Star Cutter Company in East Tawas, Michigan.

The existing coating center of Gold Star Coatings in Richmond, Indiana, will be expanded to become a significant regional site for Balzers. The activities of Gold Star's West Branch, Michigan facility will be integrated into three existing Balzers coating centers in the state of Michigan. Thus in the future, Balzers will have a network of 14 sites in the US and Canada for contract coating, as well as three in-house coating centers located on customer premises. Thomas Limberger, CEO of Unaxis, stated: "This transaction not only strengthens our presence in the North American market, it is also consistent with Balzers' strategy as a full-service provider to expand even further its in-house coating operations at the plants of major customers."

Through its collaboration with Balzers, Star Cutter Company will benefit from having an efficient coating facility as well as access to the most modern coatings that are tailored to its specific requirements. The in-house center will simplify the work processes and reduce logistics costs. Moreover, Star Cutter Company's customers will also benefit from shorter delivery times, optimal quality and value added services.

Both companies see this as an opportunity to leverage the synergies of each company together. "Balzers focus is on coating technology. It has been in the past and will be in the future. We believe that our coating products give customers the ability to maximize productivity to the full extent possible" stated Kent Connell, President of Balzers, Inc. "We are very excited with the possibility of working much closer with Star SU and Star Cutter Company than we have in the past. They are doing a great job in offering customers a complete package of tool management and maintenance. We are happy to be the primary source for coating tools in this package. We are also excited to add the Gold Star customers to our portfolio and pledge ourselves to do everything possible to provide them with outstanding service and excellent quality." Brad Lawton, President of Star Cutter Company stated, "Our core business is cutting tool manufacturing and tool life cycle management. We have been very active in finding business partners to enhance what we offer. We now feel that we can offer the best package possible to our customers from new cutting tools through expert re-sharpening services and state of the art coatings." "The real winner in this agreement is our customers" added David Goodfellow, President of Star SU, LLC, the marketing and sales arm of Star Cutter Company. Sales of gear tool and related coating services will be through the Star SU, LLC sales organization.

ABOUT BALZERS:

Balzers is the leading global supplier of PVD coatings, which decisively improve the performance and service life of precision components as well as metalworking and plastics processing tools. These proprietary coatings developed by Balzers and marketed under the BALINIT® brand are extremely thin and very hard. They significantly reduce wear and friction. Balzers also develops coating processes, manufactures and markets coating systems and turnkey production lines, and offers contract coating services through its dynamically growing network of currently more than 70 coating centers in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Balzers operates 15 coating centers in the USA and Canada, two of which are in-house centers located directly on the premises of large customers. Roughly 320 of the company's total workforce of approximately 2500 individuals are located in the USA and Canada. Balzers is a part of the Swiss Unaxis Holding Ltd., a globally leading provider of production systems, components and services for high-tech products.

Source: Balzers


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