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updated: 9/12/2013 8:03 AM

Will Koch restructure Lisle-based Molex?

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  • Molex in Lisle

      Molex in Lisle
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Molex in Lisle

      Molex in Lisle
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Molex logo

    Molex logo


After Lisle-based Molex Inc. revealed it would be acquired for about $7.2 billion, a memo was distributed to employees to explain the transaction and what it would mean for them.

Until the close of the sale at the end of the year, everything is business as usual. After that, new owner Koch Industries could start making changes, the documents said.

Under the heading "Will any employees be laid off as a result of the transaction," the document said, "we do expect that there will be changes under Koch's ownership and leadership. We will ensure that all changes are made in a manner that respects our culture, our employees and everything we have achieved."

Still, that doesn't necessarily mean layoffs will happen, since Koch doesn't have a similar company in its portfolio, said Matt Sheerin, managing director and research analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in New York. "Koch is new to the electronics industry so no overlap or redundancies would warrant cuts, as opposed to a competitor buying it and consolidating operations," said Sheerin.

The maker of electronic components for products including the iPhone said Monday that after the sale closes, it would retain its current executive management team, keep the headquarters in Lisle and even keep the Molex name. But the impact on its offices and the global workforce of 35,000, including about 1,000 in the Chicago suburbs, is still unknown.

The local workforce includes about 800 workers at the Lisle headquarters and about 200 workers at manufacturing facilities in Naperville, Downers Grove and Belvidere; a warehouse in Bolingbrook; and an office in Lincolnshire.

Molex revealed in July 2012 that board co-Chairman Frederick A. Krehbiel has lung cancer. The company said on Monday that Fred and John H. Krehbiel Jr., both in their 70s, would retire when the sale closed. Molex spokesman Tom Johnson declined to comment on Fred Krehbiel's health.

Koch, a closely held company that owns biofuel and fertilizer makers, among others, has been on the hunt for acquisitions, including the Chicago Tribune.

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