Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 346, July 1998

Issue Index

Japanese Companies in the US


ELECTRIC MACHINERY

In a deal that adds both new product lines and production facilities in new countries, AVX CORP. acquired for $75 million the international passive components business of France's THOMSON-CSF S.A. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-headquartered AVX, a major manufacturer of capacitors and other electronic components, is a KYOCERA CORP. subsidiary. Thomson Passive Components, as it was known, makes film capacitors, ferrites, high-energy and high-voltage power capacitors, ceramic capacitors, varistors and nonlinear resistors in Malaysia, Brazil and Taiwan as well as in France. Its 1997 sales were $135 million. Worldwide employment is about 2,200 people. TPC's U.S. operations are located in Chatsworth, California. AVX had revenues of close to $1.3 billion last year.

Two other players in the capacitor business, NEC CORP. and KEMET ELECTRONICS CORP., have teamed up to make and market conductive polymer tantalum capacitors. This technology offers ignition prevention, low ESR (equivalent series resistance) and high capacitance. These benefits, the partners believe, will open up market segments to tantalum capacitors that currently are being served by other materials. NEC is the world leader in conducive polymer tantalum technology, selling its products under the Neocapacitor name. It and Greenville, South Carolina-based Kemet also will collaborate on the development of next-generation capacitor technologies.

An exchange rate of ¥140=$1.00 was used in this report.
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