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Vishay Intertechnology Celebrates its Fiftieth Anniversary
Company Has Grown from Innovative Start-Up to Global Industry Leader
MALVERN, Pa. — Feb. 23, 2012 — Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (NYSE: VSH) is pleased to announce that February 23, 2012 is the fiftieth anniversary of its founding by Dr. Felix Zandman. A Company that started as one man’s vision and began operations with one technology has grown over the years to become one of the world's largest manufacturers of discrete semiconductors and passive electronic components and a leader in the global electronics industry.
The Company’s Beginnings
In the 1950s, the electronics industry began a period of accelerated growth. Dr. Felix Zandman’s research led him to develop Bulk Metal® foil technology. Bulk Metal foil resistors are ultra-precise, ultra-stable, temperature-resistant components that are still the most precise and stable resistors available for high-end applications. When the company he was working for declined to market these resistors, Dr. Zandman left and founded Vishay.
Dr. Felix Zandman, with a loan from his cousin Alfred P. Slaner, founded Vishay in 1962 to develop and manufacture Bulk Metal foil resistors. The Company was named after Dr. Zandman’s ancestral village in Lithuania, in memory of family members who perished in the Holocaust. On February 23, the day after the signing of the lease for what is now Vishay’s worldwide headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, work began to get the premises ready for office and work space. In Dr. Zandman’s words, “We built our laboratory at night, nailing wallboard and painting and doing everything on a shoestring. I bought furniture and equipment, and a month later we were ready to go.”
Growth through Innovations and Acquisitions
Vishay began operations with one technology that had two product lines: foil resistors and foil resistance strain gages. In 1985, having grown from a start-up into the world’s leading manufacturer of these original products, the Company began an ongoing series of strategic acquisitions to become a broad-line manufacturer of electronic components.
Starting in 1985, Vishay acquired resistor companies Dale Electronics (U.S.), Draloric Electronic (Germany), and Sfernice (France). These acquisitions helped produce dramatic sales growth. In the early 1990s, Vishay applied its acquisition strategy to the capacitor market by purchasing Sprague Electric (U.S.), Roederstein (Germany), and Vitramon (U.S.).
Vishay moved into the discrete semiconductor market in 1998 with its acquisition of the Semiconductor Business Group of TEMIC, which included Telefunken (Germany) and 80.4% of Siliconix (U.S.), producers of MOSFETs, RF transistors, diodes, optoelectronics, and power and analog switching integrated circuits. Vishay’s next semiconductor acquisition came in 2001, with the purchase of the infrared components business of Infineon Technologies (Germany). That was followed the same year by the acquisition of General Semiconductor (U.S.), a leading global manufacturer of rectifiers and diodes.
In 2002, Vishay purchased BCcomponents (former passive component businesses of Philips Electronics and Beyschlag). This acquisition greatly enhanced Vishay’s global market position in passive components.
Vishay acquired the remaining 19.6% interest in Siliconix in 2005. Two years later, Vishay acquired selected discrete semiconductor and module product lines from International Rectifier. This acquisition added manufacturing plants in Italy, China, and India and provided products that were new to Vishay: high-voltage planar MOSFETs and high-power diodes and thyristors. It further enhanced Vishay’s market position in discrete semiconductors. In 2008, Vishay acquired a specialty tantalum capacitor product line from KEMET.
In 2011, Vishay restarted its acquisition program, now focusing on niche acquisitions, with the acquisition of the resistor businesses of the Huntington Electric Companies, comprised of Huntington, Milwaukee, Central, and Mills Resistors. The focus now lies on supplementing Vishay’s intensified internal growth with small to mid-size acquisitions of niche businesses. In January 2012, Vishay acquired HiRel Systems, a leading supplier of high-reliability transformers, inductors, coils, and power conversion products, thus substantially expanding and strengthening Vishay’s specialty magnetic product business.
The Spin-Off of Vishay Precision Group
As Vishay Intertechnology grew through innovations and acquisitions, its resistive foil technology products (mostly strain gage transducers) became non-core businesses in terms of R&D, marketing, and sales. In July 2010, Vishay Intertechnology completed the spin-off of these non-core businesses into an independent company, Vishay Precision Group, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:VPG), making Vishay Intertechnology a “pure-play” electronic components Company.
Vishay Intertechnology today has one of the industry’s broadest portfolios of semiconductors and passive components, including diodes, MOSFETs, optoelectronic products, resistors, inductors, and capacitors. This enables Vishay Intertechnology to provide “one-stop shop” service and offer many different parts for each customer design.
Dr. Felix Zandman’s Story
The story of Vishay is inextricably linked to the story of Dr. Felix Zandman. The teenaged Felix Zandman survived the Holocaust by hiding with his uncle Sender and other people in a hole dug under the floor boards in the house of a Polish family for 17 months. While in hiding, Zandman's uncle taught him trigonometry and higher mathematics. Following the war, in 1946, Zandman emigrated to France, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree and MS in physics from the University of Nancy (France) and a PhD in physics from the University of Paris, Sorbonne.
In 1956, Dr. Zandman moved to the United States and began working for Tatnall Measuring Systems, a division of the Budd Company in Philadelphia, as director of basic research. When the Budd Company declined to market temperature-resistant resistors developed by Dr. Zandman, he left to create an innovative start-up company. He named it “Vishay” to honor his family’s ancestral village in Lithuania, in memory of family members who perished in the Holocaust.
Determined to give something back to society, Dr. Zandman imbued Vishay with morals and values rooted in the past and worked tirelessly to make the Company a success. Dr. Zandman's personal experiences, intelligence and creativity had a profound impact on Vishay, the semiconductor and passive electronic components industry and Israel, and everybody with whom he worked. His courage, perseverance and dedication served as an inspiration to all who knew him.
Transition and Continuity
Dr. Zandman passed away on June 4, 2011, at age 83. His son, Marc Zandman, succeeded him as Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Business Development Officer. Marc Zandman has been employed by Vishay since 1984 and has held various managerial roles at the Company, including serving as Vice Chairman of the Board, Chief Administration Officer, and President of Vishay Israel. Marc Zandman said, “My father's high standards and values are embedded in Vishay's culture and impact all that we do at Vishay, across the globe, every day, and he served our Company until the end. I humbly take on the responsibilities of his role as Executive Chairman of the Board, and fully intend to continue his ideals in both business and personal matters."
Dr. Gerald Paul, President and CEO of Vishay, continues to lead the Company’s outstanding global management team. He said, “I am personally committed to building upon Dr. Zandman's efforts and leading Vishay through its next phase of continued growth.”
Enhancing Stockholder Value
As it enters its sixth decade, Vishay’s focus remains on “free cash” flow. Vishay’s recently published growth plan includes intensified organic growth supplemented by targeted niche acquisitions and opportunistic share repurchases. The Company’s plan calls for accelerated development of new products and technologies, as well as improved market penetration. This will be achieved by increasing technical resources from R&D to process engineering and technical sales; expanding manufacturing capacities for Vishay’s most successful, leading products; and developing markets for specialty products in Asia.
Whatever current market conditions may be, Vishay is confident that, with its broad product portfolio, focus on “free cash” flow, and growth plan, the Company is well positioned to enhance stockholder value and achieve long-term success.
To view a timeline that highlights key events in Vishay’s history, please go to http://www.vishay.com/landingpage/50year/.
Vishay Intertechnology, Inc., a Fortune 1000 Company listed on the NYSE (VSH), is one of the world's largest manufacturers
of discrete semiconductors (diodes, MOSFETs, and infrared optoelectronics) and passive electronic components (resistors, inductors,
and capacitors). These components are used in virtually all types of electronic devices and equipment, in the industrial,
computing, automotive, consumer, telecommunications, military, aerospace, power supplies, and medical markets. Vishay’s product
innovations, successful acquisition strategy, and "one-stop shop" service have made it a global industry leader. Vishay can
be found on the Internet at www.vishay.com.