Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), the Northbrook, IL, U.S.-based safety testing and certification organization, announced on Wednesday that it acquired 100-percent ownership of A-Pex International Co., Ltd. on Jan. 31, 2003.
In April, A-Pex will officially merge with UL Japan Co., Ltd., UL's wholly owned affiliate in Japan, and the new company will be called UL A-Pex Co. Ltd.
Since its founding in 1980, A-Pex International has provided a complete range of testing and measuring services to the telecommunications industry, including Bluetooth qualification. A-Pex is also said to be Japan's leading testing organization for information technology, audio/video equipment, and the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) measurement market.
UL's wholly owned affiliate, UL Japan, was established in 1993 and helps local manufacturers gain access to world markets by providing product safety and performance testing and certification, management system registration including ISO 9000, QS9000 and TS16949, and commercial testing and inspection services.
According to UL, integrating UL Japan and A-Pex will allow the two organizations to provide Japanese customers a higher level of customer service. The merger will also increase market share and grow into a business with U.S. $60 million revenue in 2003.
"UL's unparalleled reputation in global certification and its worldwide network, together with A-Pex's longstanding working relationships with the Japanese manufacturing industries and knowledge of the local business practice, will enable us to provide fuller services to a wider range of industry segments," said Ken Ueshima, president of A-Pex International.
Adds Loring Knoblauch, UL's president and CEO, "Forging a merger with our long-term partner A-Pex is an exciting way to augment UL's scope and scale of service to Japanese industries. The partnership is further enhanced by UL's vast experience with product safety testing and A-Pex and UL Japan's expert knowledge of the business environment in Japan."
UL A-Pex Co., Ltd. will be headquartered in Ise-shi, Mie Prefecture, where A-Pex's head office is currently located. Ken Ueshima will serve as president and managing director of UL A-Pex. The two companies expect the integration to be complete in April 2003.
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