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Key Tronic EMS buys Mexican sheet metal fab shop, adds 90 Juarez workers

Contract manufacturer Key Tronic Corp. is buying Mexican sheet metal firm Sabre Manufacturing for $5.1.million.

Spokane Valley-based Key Tronic started out decades ago as a maker of keyboards. Over the last 15 years it transformed into a contract manufacturer, with production facilities in Spokane, China and Mexico.

Adding sheet metal fabrication will give the company new leads on contracts, said Key Tronic Chief Financial Officer Ron Klawitter. Key Tronic considered building its own sheet metal site near its factory in Juarez, Mexico, factory. “We learned that a company not far away from us was for sale,” Klawitter said. “We were in the right place at the right time,” he said.

The purchase includes Sabre’s customer list and a 66,000-square-foot production site. Privately owned Sabre
reported revenue of $7.million in 2012 and has about 90 employees.

Klawitter said Key Tronic has no plans to reduce the number of workers at Sabre. “We don’t really have sheet metal expertise, so there’s no plan to make any changes,” Klawitter said.

The acquisition will be funded by available cash and bank credit line.The transaction is anticipated to close in July, Klawitter noted.

“We paid off all our debt and had $4 million in available cash last quarter,” he said.

Examples of products that include sheet metal are transaction printers, some slot machines, power supplies and power protection equipment used in data centers, Klawitter said.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.