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NEWARK, NY -- EMS provider IEC Electronics Corp. has completed the acquisition of Val-U-Tech Corp., a privately held manufacturer of wire harness assemblies located in Victor, NY, for approximately $10 million.

For the period ended Dec. 31, Val-U-Tech had revenue of $11 million and expects that its revenue for the six months ending June 30 will be approximately $6.9 million, up from $4.4 million last year.

Val-U-Tech serves military, medical and industrial customers and IEC believes the acquisition leverages the existing customer base of both companies and could lead to cross-selling opportunities.

IEC financed the transaction with a credit facility from M&T Bank, seller notes and issuance of stock. IEC fixed approximately $7.2 million of the purchase price at a weighted average of 5.1% for five years. The balance of the purchase price came from the issuance of 500,000 shares of IEC stock and a draw on IECs working capital line.

M&T Bank has provided a $1.5 million equipment line of credit and is supporting IECs working capital requirements with a $9 million revolving credit line at LIBOR rates. 

IEC chairman and CEO W. Barry Gilbert said, "Val-U-Tech has been very successful in growing both its sales and earnings at double digit rates for the last few years. Some of IECs customers have anticipated cable harness projects to be awarded over the next year. With Val-U-Techs management team and IECs support we are reasonably confident of winning our share of these programs. This acquisition should significantly contribute to our earnings.


ANGLETON, TX -- Benchmark Electronics will supply EMS services to iRobot Corp. in a deal the company calls a significant contract. The company didn't disclose the length or value of the program.

The program will be built in one of Benchmark's four ITAR-compliant facilities in the US.

iRobot designs behavior-based robots that help people complete complex and dangerous tasks.
OTTAWA — Canadian legislators this week introduced amendments to the national Energy Efficiency Act, a precursor to establishing broad federal limits on power use.

Under current law, Canada regulates each product individually. The proposed rule would encompass all energy-consuming products, including electronics that use energy even when they're off or in standby mode. Read more ...
TAIPEI -- Foxconn parent Hon Hai is scheduled to apply for investment permission to establish a branch at Kaohsiung Software Park, a move that will bring 3,000 jobs in the next five years.

The investment would focus on innovation, R&D and design, chairman Terry Guo said, according to published reports.

Read more ...
W. CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – A new ASTM International standard details methods for complying with the EU’s REACH rules.
 
ASTM F2725, Standard Guide for European Union’s Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals Supply Chain Information Exchange, provides step-by-step instruction throughout the inventory process, including planning and processing orders; handling; and transporting and storing of all materials purchased, processed or distributed among players on the chain to fulfill compliance requirements.
 
The standard also includes case studies to show the process of exchanging data for three representative scenarios.
 
REACH, an acronym for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals, outlines mandatory regulatory systems for companies doing business in Europe.
 
Other initiatives discussed during Committee F40’s recent meeting in Brussels were the development of a new x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy test method that describes a procedure for identification and quantification of restricted substances in polymeric materials, and updates to ASTM F2576, Standard Terminology Relating to Declarable Substances in Materials.
TOKYORohm Co. will buy Oki Electric Industry Co.'s chip business for about 95 billion yen ($913 million) in a deal set to close by Oct. 1.
 
The terms of the deal call for Oki to spin off its chip business into a new company, then sell a 95% stake to Rohm.
 
The Oki semiconductor division makes LSI chips used mainly in consumer electronics.
SAN JOSE, CA – The Semiconductor Industry Association released a letter signed by more than 70 business, higher education and scientific leaders, including 14 executives from the semiconductor industry, to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH).
 
The letter urges House leaders to support the Senate-passed funding levels for science and engineering research in the fiscal year 2008 supplemental appropriations bill currently under consideration.
 
A similar letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
 
“The FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Act came up woefully short of the funding commitments made by Congress and the Administration in the Democratic Innovation Agenda and the American Competitiveness Initiative,” says the letter. “Now is the time to invest in America’s competitive future and prevent further backsliding.”
 
The Senate-passed version of the supplemental appropriations bill includes $300 million for agencies that sponsor basic science and engineering research at U.S. universities: $200 million for the National Science Foundation and $100 million for the Office of Science in the Department of Energy.
TAO YUAN SHIEN, TAIWAN – The largest contract laptop maker in the world, Quanta Computer Inc., said global notebook PC shipments are expected to increase 25% in 2008, as consumer demand remains strong.
 
Global low-cost notebook shipments will reach about 10 million this year, as the demand for the 8-10" Netbook market grows, says the firm.
 
The company’s co-founder and vice chairman C.C. Leung said in a statement he expects global notebook shipments to hit 130 million units this year.
 
Quanta’s sales are expected to rise more than 20% in the last two quarters of 2008, compared to 2007. The company expects to ship 40 million notebook units, compared to 32 million last year.
 
Quanta’s second-quarter results have not yet been released.
TAIPEI — Taiwan's Acer Inc. said its sales are expected to increase more than 50% in 2008, raising its previous forecast as a result of demand for smaller, cheaper laptops.
 
"The notebook market is growing for at least the next two to three years, and with the entry of new mobile Internet devices, the market can easily double in size, changing the profile of the industry dramatically," Acer president Gianfranco Lanci said, according to published reports.
 
"I think all the major PC brands are getting ready to face the change and to manage the change," said Lanci.
 
Lanci believes Acer could have 16 to 18% of the global PC market by yearend, as the company continues to compete with Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and Dell Inc.
 
The company expects to sell 6 to 7 million units of its Aspire One in 2008, and 15 to 20 million units in 2009.
FRAMINGHAM, MA – Worldwide PC microprocessor shipments slowed significantly in the first quarter of 2008, down 9.2% sequentially, says research firm IDC.
  Read more ...
TAIPEI – Asustek Computer Inc. reduced its global notebook PC shipment forecast to 6.6 million units for 2008, down from a projected 7 million units, say published reports.
 
The firm’s original projection was up more than 60% compared to 2007 results. However, the company adjusted the forecast downward by 5.7%.
 
Asustek attributes the adjustment to strong market competition; the European market is particularly struggling, with the second-quarter growth rate estimated at a mere 3 to 5%.
 
The firm forecasts sales of its Eee PC to reach 5 million units globally in 2008, including 1.3 million units in the second quarter.
RICHARDSON, TXTXP Corp., ODM for the telecommunications industry, reported first-quarter revenue was $2.5 million, up about 14% year-over-year.
 
Operating loss was approximately $2.4 million, compared to operating loss of approximately $1.2 million for the first quarter last year. Net loss was approximately $198,000, compared to net loss of approximately $378,000 for the same period in 2007.
 
Net loss in the first quarter of 2008 and 2007 included a non-cash gain of approximately $2.8 million and $1.1 million, respectively, related to change in fair value of derivative financial instruments.
 
The company says it increased its customer base to 139 in the first quarter, up from 117 for the same period in 2007.
 
"We attribute our increase in revenue to the continued strength of our prototype services business, as well as the growth of our retrofit solutions ... During the quarter, we focused heavily on our sales and marketing initiatives within the Optical Network Terminal group. Specifically, we are engaged in active discussions with a number of carriers to utilize our Gigabit Passive Optical Network ONTs for their next-generation Fiber-to-the-Home network. We now have product trials ongoing with over 15 carriers and have received favorable feedback from our partners," said Michael C. Shores, president and CEO of TXP.
 
Additionally, the company announced it has completed a financing of up to $5.75 million with YA Global Investments, L.P.

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