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Pertech sold; will stay in city with expanded product lineup
Jun 12, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer
All 30 or so Pertech employees will be able to continue with the company under the merger, and another 10 jobs could be created.
Riverton-based Pertech Resources Inc. is banking on anticipated advancements in the equipment it manufactures for the financial industry with its recent acquisition by an Italian firm.
Pertech Resources president Kevin Kershisnik announced the merger on Monday morning at the company's offices in the Central Wyoming College business park with Seac Banche S.p.A. leader Enrico Negrello appearing on live video via Skype.
The merger combines the Florence, Italy-based Seac Banche that specializes in creating check-scanner equipment for the banking industry with the Riverton company that manufactures printers for financial transactions.
"We found this very interesting opportunity to combine our two companies" that will operate under the new banner Pertech Industries Inc., Negrello said from Italy.
The merger was not something Negrello, who is the new company's chief executive officer, had been seeking for Seac Banche.
"I was looking to expand in the U.S. That was primary, let's say, goal at that time," he said, noting his intent involved increasing sales, not an acquisition.
"The acquisition came out as perfect -- perfect because Pertech has a printer that we don't," he said. "We match very well. ... I found a factory, and I can implement what I always had in mind."
All 30 or so Pertech employees will be able to continue with the company under the merger, and Kershisnik said he anticipates possibly creating another 10 highly skilled jobs in the future.
"The headquarters are going to remain here" in Riverton, he said.
The merger completed May 31 involved the sale of Pertech Resources's assets to Seac Banche, said Kershisnik, who will be the newly formed company's general manager.
The move will be "beneficial to our customers, shareholders and employees in the community," he said.
The companies produce equipment that involves check scanning for financial transactions at banks and businesses as well as printing equipment for receipts and check endorsements.
"The main thing in the states is we're starting to see some interest in the Seac products," Kershisnik said.
Seac Banche outsources its manufacturing to Portugal, but the merger will mean transferring the operation to Riverton, Negrello said.
"I think the important thing is it's my intention to move our production to Riverton," Negrello said. "I do believe we need to maintain the control and maintain the know-how of producing our machines."
He plans to move to Riverton with his wife, but others with Seac Banche including six engineers in Italy will not relocate.
The relocation means "that I will direct directly from Riverton the operation from the strategic point of view and the financial," Negrello said.
No name change
He wanted to keep the Pertech name in the newly formed operation.
"The name Pertech is important. We selected 'Industries' because we want to become an industry producing stuff" beyond software, he said.
With the acquisition by Seac Banche, Pertech's manufacturing facilities will improve, Negrello said. The Italian firm bought the building and "we intend to transfer the production to very advance production," he said.
The manufacturing improvement will "increase production capacity and production skills ... in order to make it competitive with the China market," Negrello said.
"I envision the growth of skill and not the growth of pure labor," he said. "I want to be able to have a production facility producing good stuff."
A Seac Banche product will be the first produced under the merger from the Riverton facility, Negrello said. He expects the first batch will include 1,000 pieces of the equipment.
"We are thinking to make new products and we have a pipeline of new products going," he said.
Kershisnik said Pertech has been working on a model that combines printing and scanning capabilities but will not be released until next year.
"We think that's the next-gen product for the banking industry," he said.
He said the Riverton production facility is about 60 to 70 percent utilized but the merger should raise the output to between 80 and 100 percent.
"Hopefully we outgrow it. That's our goal," he said about the company's 40,000-square-foot building.
Pertech will continue to utilize Legacy Molding in Riverton to supply some parts for the manufacturing process. "A lot of our printer parts today come from Legacy," Kershisnik said.
Negrello said finding the merger and production opportunity in central Wyoming was a shock.
"I have to say I was very surprised to find this technology in this town," he said.
The move will help strengthen the newly formed company's worldwide strategy that already includes Seac Banche's wholly owned subsidiaries in France, Brazil and Spain.
"We do have a worldwide presence," Negrello said, adding that the company will appear at a trade show this month in Sao Paulo, Brazil. "We are pushing for selling."
He envisions developing a specialized workforce at various locations for the company. "We would like to get engineers worldwide," he said.
Negrello compared the goal to mixing the fantasy of Italians with the educational drive of Germans.
"Maybe we can combine the two," he said.