LEWISTON – The Philips Elmet plant has been sold to a former Philips executive who plans to retain the 240 employees and keep the manufacturing operation in Lewiston, officials said Monday.
The 220,000-square-foot plant, which makes filaments and other lighting components, will be renamed Elmet Technologies, said Jack Jensen, the new majority owner of the manufacturing company.
Jensen, a former senior executive at Philips, said all 240 employees will be offered jobs with the new company.
“To be able to purchase and operate this business is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Jensen, who worked for Philips Elmet in Lewiston until 1996, when he took a job with Philips in New Jersey.
For the past year, Jensen had been working in Lewiston as a vice president and chief executive officer of Philips Elmet as he worked to put together the deal to buy the division from his employer.
Philips Lighting will remain a major customer. But the company also is poised to consider additional products and markets under local ownership and management, Jensen said in a telephone interview.
Since 1929, the plant has made products from tungsten and molybdenum, a metal that can withstand high temperatures.
In addition to being used in three types of lights – incandescent, fluorescent and high-intensity discharge – the company’s products are also used in semiconductors and by the medical industry, he said.
“Currently, as the semiconductor market grows and rebounds, we have several new customers we’re going after,” he said.
Jensen thanked Gov. John Baldacci and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Jack Cashman for their assistance, including putting him in touch with an investment banking company.
In addition to being majority owner, Jensen will also be president of the new Elmet Technologies.
“I’m excited about the new opportunity and really feel great about the employee team that we have in Lewiston,” he said.
“I’m very confident that with our technology, we can compete around the world.”