An electronic systems maker in Wiltshire is planning to offer a new product introduction service (NPI) across Europe after being bought by a Thai company in a £10m deal. Buying Exception EMS in Calne for $13.5m gives Fabrinet entry to the European market. Exception was founded in 2005 and provides contract electronics manufacturing services to the global electronics companies with design, manufacture and testing of printed circuit boards. Customers include industrial, energy, aerospace and defence companies, with 80% of its revenue coming from customers in Europe.

“Fabrinet has enjoyed exceptional growth over the past several years, primarily with customers in the US and Japan, and there are tremendous opportunities for growing our business in Europe,” said Tom Mitchell, Chairman and CEO of Fabrinet. “With this acquisition, we are establishing a strong foothold in Europe, which will allow us to grow our business with European customers, and give them access to our advanced low-cost manufacturing services in Thailand, particularly in our new facility in Chonburi that is coming on-line and ramping in the next several months.”

Mitchell was one of the co-founders of disk drive maker Seagate Technology, and set up Fabrinet in 2000 with one of the Seagate plants to provide low volume manufacturing of complex optical components.

In February 2015, Fabrinet established Fabrinet West, a new product introduction (NPI) centre in Silicon Valley to give US customers advanced NPI services. Fabrinet will now provide the same advanced NPI services to European customers through Exception EMS, along with the existing low-volume manufacturing services. Going forward, as the NPI projects in Fabrinet West and Exception EMS become successful they will move to volume manufacturing at Fabrinet’s Thailand facilities.

You can see more about the wide range of manufacturing services The Exception Group offers in Calne at the Exception Group website.

Nick Flaherty