SBE Announces the Sale of the Orange Drop Product Line to Cornell Dubilier (CDE)
SBE, Inc. (dba SB Electronics) announced today the sale of its Orange Drop® product line to Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Inc. of Liberty, South Carolina. The product line will continue to be manufactured at the SBE facility in Barre for a period of time to coordinate with customer requirements. It is the plan to transfer all manufacturing of this product line to CDE facilities during 2013.
The Orange Drop product line has been manufactured in Barre since 1959. These products were the largest volume products for SBE over the years. Over 1 billion capacitors were manufactured by more than 1,000 Vermont employees during the more than 50 years of its history.
“The sale of the Orange Drop line and ultimate transfer of this manufacturing out of Vermont is the close of a storied chapter in Vermont manufacturing” stated SBE President & CEO, Ed Sawyer. “However, while one chapter closes, others are opening. SBE’s manufacturing of capacitors and power control assemblies is alive and well. This sale will help build a stronger foundation for the newer products which the company has developed in the Electric Vehicle, Solar, Wind, Industrial, and Medical markets. We believe these ‘next generation’ products will be the long-term growth future of the company and opportunity for significant employment in the region.”
Mark Browning, Vice-President and a Company Director commented “For over 50 years the ubiquitous Orange Drop was a staple for Sprague Electric, and eventually SB Electronics when it acquired the line in 1985. The world-renowned reputation of the Orange Drop will now be carried on through CDE, a very fitting company to take over the reins. The Orange Drop line helped launch SBE over 25 years ago; and now its sale will allow us to fund new growth opportunities with our Power Ring Film Capacitor® technology. These are extremely exciting times for us!”
Over the past 3 years, SBE has received significant funding from the US Department of Energy, VEDA, VEGI, and CDBG. It is the specific interest of these organizations to create sustainable jobs and opportunity for Vermont. None of the assets involved in this sale were acquired using funds from these organizations. While the sale of the Orange Drop product line will have employment implications in the short term, SBE remains committed to job growth in the community and believes that this transaction gives the company the best opportunity to realize the local opportunity for all.
SBE, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of film capacitor solutions that provide a much higher degree of reliability, higher power density, and simpler cooling infrastructure in demanding applications, particularly for transportation, alternative energy and military. Recently, SBE has brought this technology to a new level by developing integrated capacitor/bus structure/cooling/IGBT inverter topologies, in partnership with industry leaders. SBE also built a world-class facility for the manufacture of its Power Ring capacitors used in drivetrain inverters for electric drive vehicles, solutions for Alternative Energy, and demanding applications in Motor Drives, Medical/Industrial Lasers and Defense applications. The company’s headquarters are located in Barre, Vermont.