EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 12, 2013

Suntron sells plant to Va. company but jobs will stay in Methuen

Jobs will stay in Methuen

(Continued)

The plant’s proximity to Boston also was a draw. EIT, which has a campus on the Virginia-North Carolina border near the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill technology and research hub, is eyeing “high tech opportunities in New England,” he said.

The details of the deal were not disclosed.

That announcement followed another sale by less than a month. Suntron said in December it sold its Embedded Computing Solutions business unit, which adds software and other systems to completed hardware for customers and also is located on Griffin Brook Drive, to Axiomtek USA, the American subsidiary of Taiwan-based Axiomtek.

According to a statement Axiomtek USA released on Dec. 22, it plans to keep operations in Methuen under the name Axiomtek Systems. It also was interested in the facility’s aerospace certification.

Dave Starrett, who is taking over as general manager of Axiomtek Systems, said the roughly 30 employees will stay on here, and the company is adding five more positions by moving people from within the company. He plans a few new hires as well, and said the company will expand as the customer base expands.

“For the time being we’re adding five immediately, but the game plan is we intend to grow it,” he said. “We have no restrictions as far as growing the business except for finding new customers.”

Many of Axiomtek’s customers are located in the Northeast, and the area has a good pool of potential employees, he said.

Axiomtek, founded in 1990 in Taipei, has 700 employees worldwide and creates components designed to withstand difficult environmental conditions.

Joseph Bevilacqua, president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, said he hoped the new owners will keep operating in Methuen because of the type of skilled, high-tech manufacturing they do. “It provides great jobs and great services and products,” he said. “The chamber pledges its assistance to the new companies. Our goal is to keep as many jobs here in the Merrimack Valley as we can.”

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