19 April, 2012

DomPost wrong; Deltec did have the Midas touch

Today's DominionPost featured an article by Tom Pullar-Strecker on technology firm 4RF [Communications] currently in receivership.  Pullar-Strecker cast aspersions on other technology firms, including my old company Deltec:
... Telecommunications equipment manufacturers in the capital have failed to exude the Midas touch.
Antenna-maker Deltec – New Zealand's "Supreme HiTech Award Winner" in 2000 – closed in 2002 with the loss of 30 jobs...
Read in the context of the 4RF [Communications] receivership, this wrongly portrays Deltec's departure from the Wellington economy.

Strictly speaking, it was Andrew Corporation's NZ R&D unit that closed.  Deltec was very successful, peaking at over 200 staff and contractors, with high growth and high profitability. That success attracted Andrew Corporation to acquire Deltec's operations and technology in 2001.  Andrew Corporation quickly transferred manufacturing overseas, but Deltec had planned to do that anyway as part of our growth strategy.  It was sad to later see Andrew  transfer its NZ R&D to the USA, but that was not a failure for Andrew, just another hard-nosed business decision about location.

Contrary to Pullar-Strecker's claim, Deltec most definitely did "exude the Midas touch".  Not only were we successful in our own right, but we also received a great price for the business, we paid our permanent staff substantial bonuses in recognition of their contribution, several Deltec people have established their own successful businesses,  and I for one have been able to invest in numerous local ventures.  Deltec's technology made a lot of money for Andrew, too. That all looks golden to me.

PS. When the factory closed, the staff were so sought after that they all bar one went straight into new jobs.

Update 1: The DomPost  published a letter from me making similar points.
Update 2.  As "Anonymous"  notes in the comments, it was the holding company 4RF Communications that went into receivership. The operating companies carried on trading.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the same way as [TPS]* got it wrong you should be careful too. Only 4RF Communications Ltd is in receivership, the other three 4RF companies are operating normally. No staff lost their jobs and no trade creditors were left unpaid.

A lot of what NBR and the Dom Post is publishing is just so wrong but making a fuss about just draws more attention to what is painful enough.

*edited

Jim Donovan said...

Fair point regarding the holding company as distinct to the operating companies. I'll update the post. PS. I prefer people to use their real names, not hide behind "Anonymous". It wasn't contentious (apart from the edited out snipe at TPS).