A group of executives that bought Nextrom Holding SA's European business making wire and cable machinery and pipe extruders last year has resurrected a familiar name - Maillefer.
Pentti Hatala led a group of five company veterans to purchase that part of Nextrom's machinery business, renaming the operations Maillefer SA. The deal was completed in October.
Now the management team wants to do more than just sell new equipment. As a more-focused company, Maillefer wants to improve service, including in North America, and help customers get more out of their existing machines.
``We still believe strongly in wire and cable, and pipe machinery business,'' said Hatala, the chief executive officer. ``We saw a lot of opportunity to better service.''
The deal included a plant in Ecublens, Switzerland, that builds machines for making pipe and copper cable for telecommunications, and a factory in Vantaa, Finland, a suburb of Helsinki, that builds extrusion coating machines to produce electrical cable. Pipe markets for the Swiss-made single-screw extruders include automotive fuel lines, irrigation and oil exploration, medical tubing and cross-linked polyethylene pipe for drinking water.
The name Nextrom was born in 1998, as the company changed its name from Nokia-Maillefer. Nextrom has been selling off or closing machinery businesses, as it focuses on its specialty of machines to produce fiber-optic cable. Nextrom did retain an ownership stake of about 20 percent in Maillefer, Hatala said.
Maillefer, based in Ecublens, employs 300. In North America, Maillefer runs a sales and service unit in Concord, Ontario - Maillefer Extruson Ltd. Manuel Felder, vice president of sales and marketing, said U.S. customers in recent years have bought off-the-shelf Maillefers. Now, he said, the company wants to get more involved with customers, to provide machines geared for specific end products.
Hatala declined to provide a sales figure. But he claimed Maillefer has the largest share of the world market for extrusion coating machinery for producing wire and cable - a market the company entered back in 1925. The Swiss company added pipe extrusion machinery in the 1960s. Maillefer merged with Nokia Oyj in 1987.
In addition to Hatala and Felder, the other top managers are Georges Duruz, vice president of customer service; Antti-Jussi Rissanen, vice president in charge of project and product development; and Patrick Burnand, chief operating officer.