Speculating on Universal

The question lingering on the minds of many in the industry is, Who will buy Universal?

I don’t have any inside information, but I’m going to make a semi-educated guess. And I’ll say this upfront: this is complete speculation on my part.

If I were to bet a nickel, it would be that another capital equipment manufacturer will acquire Universal and Hover-Davis, the feeder unit. If I were to bet another nickel, it would be on Hitachi or Sanyo — or even a JV between the two.
And what about Vitronics-Soltec, the profitable and perhaps the most attractive piece of the puzzle? My feeling, again totally a guess, is that Vitronics will be sold separately.

We should know soon. Dover indicated it expects after-tax profit of $325 million on the sale of the properties (which include a couple other business units) by the end of 2006.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). 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