Dielectric to close by end of June

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

RAYMOND — A local company, that has its roots in fabricating postwar communication technology, will close its doors on an era by the end of June.

SPX Corporation, which manufactures Dielectric brand products, is poised to phase out of business by June 29. The business, also known as Dielectric Communications, is located off Route 121 on Tower Road in Raymond.

The impending closure of the broadcast unit was made public in the late afternoon on Friday.

After making the announcement, the managerial staff decided to refrain until today (April 26) from answering any questions regarding the restructuring.

However, Mark Fichter, the general manager of Dielectric Communications, Broadcast and Wireless Antenna Operations, wrote a letter to the company’s customers.

“After careful consideration, SPX has decided to discontinue the broadcast television and radio and wireless antenna operations of its Dielectric Communications business unit worldwide,” Fichter said in the letter.

He cited “extremely difficult global economic conditions in the broadcast marketplace” as the primary reason for the decision.

Also, Fichter stated that the company would continue to take orders as long as the customer paid upfront and in full, and the product was delivered before May 31.

Raymond Board of Selectman Sam Gifford said the company employed between 55 and 57 people, and about 10 of those employees were Raymond residents.

“We are very unhappy about it. Anytime the Lake Region loses that many jobs, we are unhappy about it,” Gifford said on Wednesday.

“The good news is another company that is attached to Dielectric is going to stay there,” he said.

But, like many people stunned by the news, Gifford did not know the prospects of continued employment at the Raymond-based SPX Corp.

In Fichter’s letter, there are plans to focus on flow technology, while discontinuing the radio and television broadcast equipment.

On Dielectric’s webpage, the job types were listed as: “electrical and mechanical engineers, radio frequency (RF) technicians, assemblers, and customer service representatives.”

The company, which started out as Dielectric Product Corporation, was founded in 1942 by Dr. Charles “Doc” Brown. In 1954, the company was relocated to Raymond, which was Brown’s place of residency.

In 2001, the Maine-based Dielectric Communications merged with SPX.

According to the company’s webpage, SPX is a Fortune 500 company that is based in Charlotte, N.C. Also, SPX is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to Yahoo Finance, the stock for SPX has been decreasing in price almost consistently since mid-March, when the closing prices ranged between 81.05 and 82. By the first week of April, the stock went from 77.40 to 75.55. On Friday, the SPX stock was worth 73.70 — dropping slightly to 73.12 when the market closed on Tuesday.

The company plans on May 1 to report its financial results for the first quarter of 2013, as stated in a press release.

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