Kester’s Next Chapter

We’ve been waiting to make this announcement for months, if not years. The formal acquisition of Kester by Illinois Tool Works yesterday puts an end to one long saga and begins the next chapter in the book of the 100-year old company.

For more than two years, Kester’s fate was in the hands of private equity group American Capital Group, which purchased the solder vendor from Northop Grumman. The company grew, but it was a time of uncertainty for its hundreds of employees around the world. Now, the solder supplier finds itself in the hands of a Fortune 200 company whose headquarters are right down the road from Kester’s own.
As best I can tell, Kester will be melded into ITW’s welding group. Not the sexiest fit, but ITW should be a good and benevolent parent for years to come.

This entry was posted in Hot Wires by Mike. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow