Grundig AG is (WAS) a German manufacturer of consumer electronics for home entertainment which transferred to Turkish control in the period 2004-2007. Established in 1945 in Nuremberg, Germany by Max Grundig the company changed hands several times before becoming part of the Turkish Koç Holding group. In 2007, after buying control of the Grundig brand, Koc renamed its Beko Elektronik white goods and consumer electronics division Grundig Elektronik A.Ş., which has decided to merge with Arçelik A.Ş. as declared on February 27, 2009
Max Grundig (7 May 1908 – 8 December 1989) was the founder of electronics company Grundig AG.Max Grundig is one of the leading business personalities of West German post-war society, one of the men responsible for the German “Wirtschaftswunder” (post-war economic boom).
GRUNDIG Early years
Max Grundig was born in Nuremberg on May 7, 1908. His father died early, so Max and his three sisters grew up in a home without a father. At 16, Max Grundig began to be fascinated by radio technology, which at the time was gaining in popularity. He built his first detector in the family’s apartment, which he had turned into his own laboratory. In 1930, he turned his hobby into his profession and opened a shop for radio sets in Fürth with an associate. The business prospered and soon Grundig was able to employ his sisters and buy out his associate. By 1938, he was already manufacturing 30,000 small transformers.
GRUNDIG Success after World War II
Max Grundig’s real success story began after World War II. On May 15, 1945, Grundig opened a production facility for universal transformers at Jakobinerstraße 24 in Fürth. Using machines and supplies from the war era, he established the basis for what would turn into a global company at this address. In addition to transformers, Grundig soon manufactured tube-testing devices. As manufacturing radios was subject to a licence, Grundig had the brilliant idea of developing a kit that would allow anyone to quickly build a radio on their own. This kit was sold as a “toy” called “Heinzelmann”.
Grundig became a real pioneer in consumer electronics. From 1951, the company’s portfolio also included the production and distribution of television sets, and dictaphones were added in 1954. The company was turned into a shareholding company, the Grundig AG, in 1971. In the 1970s, the company was one of the leading companies in Germany, employing more than 38,000 people in 1979. Max Grundig had built a strong company from the ruins of the war.
GRUNDIG and the rules are changing
In the second half of the 1970s, another innovation entered the market for consumer electronics, the VCR. And with the VCR, competitors from Japan and later other countries of the Far East entered the world market. Even though the European competitors Philips and Grundig had developed the superior technology for recording video, the Japanese VHS succeeded on the market. The rules of the game changed dramatically in the field of consumer electronics. The competition for establishing the video standard proved that companies could only succeed in consumer electronics with the financial power of global corporations. In 1979, Max Grundig decided to sell some shares to his Dutch competitor Philips, and in 1984 he began the process of restructuring the ownership of the Grundig companies, which would be completed two decades later.
Max Grundig died on December 8, 1989 in Baden-Baden. The Grundig name continues to be known to this day and is now a globally recognised brand for innovative consumer electronics. Max Grundig is remembered in Germany as a dynamic entrepreneur from the post-war era.
He was married lastly to Chantal Grundig.
...........................................The Federal Republic of Germany: Holding the Ring?
For more than thirty years after the Second World War, consumer
electronics in West Germany, as elsewhere, was a growth industry.
Output growth in the industry was sustained by buoyant consumer
demand for successive generations of new or modiﬁed products,
such as radios (which had already begun to be manufactured, of
course, before the Second World War), black-and-white and then
colour television sets, hi-ﬁ equipment.” Among the largest West
European states, West Germany had by far the strongest industry.
Even as recently as 1982, West Germany accounted for 60 per cent
of the consumer electronics production in the four biggest EEC
states. The West German industry developed a strong export
orientation--in the early 1980s as much as 60 per cent of West
German production was exported, and West Germany held a larger
share of the world marltet than any other national industry apart
from the]apanese.ltwas also technologicallyextremelyinnovative-
the first tape recorders, the PAL colour television technology, and
the technology which later permitted the development of the video
cassette recorder all originated in West Germany.
The standard-bearers of the West German consumer electronics
industry were the owner-managed firm, Grundig, and Telefunken,
which belonged to the electrical engineering conglomerate, AEG-
Telefunlten. The technological innovations for which the West
German industry became famous all stemmed from the laboratories
of Telefunlten, which, in the 19605, still constituted one of AEG’s
most proﬁtable divisions. Telefunlcen and Grundig together prob-
ably accounted for around one-third of employment in the German
Industry in the mid-1970s. Both had extensive foreign production
facilities. At the same time, compared with the other EEC states,
there was still a relatively large number of small and medium-sized
consumer electronics firms in Germany. Besides Grundig and
Telefunken, the biggest were Blaupunkt, a subsidiary of Bosch, the
automobile components manufacturer, Siemens, and the sub-
sidiaries of the ITT-owned ﬁrm, SEL. Up until the late 1970s, there
was relatively little foreign-owned manufacturing capacity in the
West German consumer electronics industry.
GOVERNMENTS, MARKETS, AND REGULATION
During the 1970s, this picture of a strong West German
consumer electronics industry began slowly to change and, by the
end of the 19705, colour television manufacture no longer offered a
guarantee for the continued prosperity or even survival of the
German industry. The market for colour television sets was
increasingly saturated——by 1978 56 per cent of all households in
West Germany had a colour television set and 93 per cent of all
households possessed a television set of some kind.2° From 1978
onwards, the West German market for colour television sets began
to contract. Moreover, the PAL patents began to expire around
1980 and the West German firms then became exposed to more
intense competition on the (declining) domestic market.
The West German firms’ best chances for maintaining or
expanding output and profitability lay in their transition to the
manufacture of a new generation of consumer electronics products,
that of the video cassette recorder (VCR). Between 1978 and 1983,
the West German market for VCRs expanded more than tenfold, so
that, by the latter year, VCRs accounted for over a fifth of the
overall consumer electronics market.“ However, in this product
segment, Grundig was the only West German firm which, in
conjunction with Philips, managed to establish a foothold, while
the other firms opted to assemble and/or sell VCRs manufactured
according to one or the other of the two Japanese video
technologies. By 1981, the West German VCR market was more
tightly in the grip of Japanese firms than any other segment of the
market. More than any other, this development accounted for the
growing crisis of the West German consumer electronics industry in
the early 1980s. The West German market stagnated, production
declined as foreign firms conquered a growing share of the
domestic market and this trend was not offset by an expansion of
exports, production processes were rationalized to try to cut costs
as prices fell, employment contracted,” and more and more plants
were either shut down or—more frequently——taken over.
The relationship between the state and the consumer electronics
industry in the long post-war economic ‘boom’ was of the ‘arm’s
length’ kind which corresponded to the West German philosophy
of the ‘social market economy’. The state's role was confined
largely to ‘holding the ring’ for the firms and trying to ensure by
means of competition policy that mergers and take-overs did not
enable any single firm or group of firms to achieve a position of
market domination and suspend the ‘free play of market forces’.
The implementation of competition policy was the responsibility of
the Federal Cartel Office (FCO), which must be informed of any
planned mergers or take-overs if the two firms each have a turnover
exceeding 1 DM billion or one of them has a turnover of more than
2 DM billion. The FCC must reject any proposed merger which, in
its view, would lead to the emergence of a, or strengthen any
existing, position of market domination.“
Decisions of the FCO may be contested in the Courts, and firms
whose merger or take-over plans have been rejected by the Cartel
Office may appeal for permission to proceed with their plans to the
Federal Economics Minister. He is empowered by law to grant such
permission when it is justified by an ‘overriding public interest’ or
‘macroeconomic beneﬁts’, which may relate to competitiveness on
export markets, employment, and defence or energy policy.”
However, the state had no positive strategy for the consumer
electronics industry and industry, for its part, appeared to have no
demands on the state, other than that, through its macroeconomic
policies, it should provide a favourable business environment. This
situation changed only when, as from the late 1970s onwards, the
Japanese export offensive in consumer electronics plunged the West
German industry into an even deeper crisis.
The Politics of European Restructuring
The burgeoning crisis of not only the West German, but also the
other national consumer electronics industries in the EC in the
early 1980s prompted pleas from the firms (and also organized
labour) for protective intervention by the state——by the European
Community as well as by its respective national Member States.
The partial ‘Europeanization’ of consumer electronics politics
reflected the strategies chosen and pursued by the major European
firms to try to counter, or avoid, the Japanese challenge. These
strategies contained two major elements: measures of at least
temporary protection against Japanese imports to give the firms
breathing space to build up or modernize their production
capacities and improve their competitiveness uis-ci-uis the Japanese
and partly also to put pressure on the Japanese to establish
production facilities in Europe and produce under the same
conditions as the European firms and (b), through mergers, take-
overs, and co-operation agreements, to regroup forces with the aim
of achieving similar economies of scale to those enjoyed by the most
powerful Japanese firms. The first element of these strategies
implicated the European Community in so far as it is responsible
for the trade policies of its Member States. The second element did
not necessarily involve the European Community, but had a Euro-
pean dimension to the extent that most of the take-overs and mergers
envisaged in the restructuring of the industry involved firms from
two or more of the EEC Member States, including the French state-
owned Thomson (see above). As this ‘regrouping of the forces’ of
the European consumer electronics industry was to unfold at first
largely on the West German market, the firms could only
implement their strategies once they had obtained the all-clear of
the FCO or, failing that, of the Federal Economics Ministry.
The Politics of Video Recorder Trade between japan and the EEC:
The Dutch-based multinational conglomerate, Philips, was the first
firm in the world to bring a VCR on to the market. Between 1972
and 1975, it had no competitors at all in VCR manufacture and, as
late as 1977, it split up the European market with Grundig, with
which Philips developed the V2000 VCR which came on to the
market in 1980. By this time, the Japanese consumer electronics
firms had already built up massive VCR production capacities and
had cornered first their own market and then, unchallenged by the
European firms, the American as well. With the advantage of much
greater economies of scale, they were able to manufacture and offer
VCRs more cheaply than Philips and Grundig when the VCR
market did eventually ‘take off‘ in Western Europe. German
imports of VCRs, for example, increased almost eightfold between
1978 and 1981.2
The immediate background to the calls for protection against
imported Japanese VCRs by European VCR manufacturing firms
was formed by massive cuts in prices for Japanese VCRs, as a
consequence of which, in 1982, the market share held by the V2000
VCR manufactured by Philips and Grundig declined sharply.”
Losses incurred in VCR manufacture led to a dramatic worsening
of Grundig’s ﬁnancial position. In November 1982 Philips and
Grundig announced that they were considering taking a dumping
case against the Japanese to the European Commission. The case,
which was later withdrawn, can be seen as the first move in a
political campaign designed to secure controls or restraints on
Japanese VCR exports to the EEC states. This campaign was
pursued at the national and European levels, both through the
national and European trade associations for consumer electronics
firms and particularly through direct intervention by the firms at
the national governments and the European Commission. However,
the European firms, many of whom had licensing agreements with
the Japanese, were far from being united behind it.
Philips, seconded by its VCR partner, Grundig, was the ‘real
protagonist’ of protectionist measures against Japanese VCRs. In
pressing their case on EEC member states and the European
Commission, they emphasized the unfair trading practices of the
Japanese in building up production capacities which could meet the
entire world demand for VCRs (‘laser-beaming’), and the threats
which the Japanese export offensive posed to jobs in Western
Europe and to the maintenance of the firms’ R. 8: D. capacity and
technological know-how. Above all, however, was the threat which
the crisis in VCR trade and the consumer electronics industry
generally posed to the survival of a European microelectronic
components industry, over half of whose output, according to
Grundig, was absorbed in consumer electronics products.”
These arguments found by all accounts a very receptive audience
at the European Commission, where, by common consent of
German participants in the policy-formation process, Philips wields
great political inﬂuence. By all accounts, Philips‘s pressure was also
responsible for the conversion to the protectionist camp of the
Dutch Government, which hitherto had been a bastion of free trade
philosophy within the EEC. By imposing unilateral import controls
through the channelling of imported VCRs through the customs
depot at Poitiers (see above), the French Government had already
staked out its position on VCR trade with Japan. It presumably
required no convincing by Philips and Grundig on the issue,
although it is interesting to speculate over the extent to which its
stance also reﬂected the preferences of Thomson which in the past
had been the ‘chief of the protectionists’ in the European
With the Dutch Government having been shifted into the
protectionist camp by Philips, the greatest resistance to the
mposition of some form of import controls on Japanese VCRs
could have been expected to come from the West German
Government. Along with the Danish and (hitherto) the Dutch
Governments, the West German Government had generally been
the stoutest defender of free trade among the EEC Member States.
The Federal Economics Ministry’s antipathy towards import
controls may in fact have had some impact on the form of
protection ultimately agreed by the EEC Council of Ministers,
which was a ‘voluntary self-restraint agreement’ with japan.
However, even such self-restraint agreements had in the past been
vetoed by West Germany in the Council. The West German
Government’s abstention in the vote on the agreement in the
Council of Ministers signified if not a radical, then none the less a
significant, modification of its past trade policy.
Within the Bonn Economics Ministry, the section for the
electrical engineering industry-—characteristically—had the most
receptive attitude to the V2000 firms’ case. Elsewhere in the
Ministry, in the trade and European policy and policy principles
divisions and at the summit, the Ministry’s traditional policy in
favour of free trade was given up much more reluctantly. The
Ministry did not oppose the voluntary restraint agreement after it
had been negotiated, but it may be questioned whether the
Ministry’s acquiescence in the agreement was motivated solely by its
feeling of impotence vis-£1-vis the united will of the other Member
States. Abstaining on the vote in the Council of Ministers enabled
the V2000 protectionist lobby to reap its benefits without the West
German Government being held responsible for its implementation.
The Govemment’s abstention may equally have been the result of
the pressure exerted on the Economics Ministry by the V2000
firms, particularly Philips and Grundig, both of which engaged in
bilateral talks with the Ministry, and from the consumer electronics
sub-association of the electrical engineering trade association of the
ZVEI (Zentralverband der Elektrotechnischen lndustrie), in which
a majority of the member firms had sided with Philips and Grundig.
The Ministry, by its own admission, did not listen as closely to the
firms which were simply marketing Japanese VCRs as to those
which actually manufactured VCRs in Europe: ‘we were interested
in increasing the local content (of VCRs) to preserve jobs.’
The success of the V2000 firms in obtaining any agreement at all
from the Japanese to restrain their exports of VCRs to the EEC
does not mean that they were happy with all aspects of the
agreement, least of all with its contents concerning VCR prices and
concrete quotas which were agreed with the Japanese. As the
market subsequently expanded less rapidly than the European
Commission had anticipated, the quota allocated to Japanese
imports (including the ‘kits’ assembled by European licensees of
Japanese firms) amounted to a larger share of the market than
expected and the European VCR manufacturers did not sell as
many VCRs as the agreement provided. Ironically, within a year of
the adoption of the agreement, both Philips and Grundig announced
that they were beginning to manufacture VCRs according to the
Japanese VHS technology and by the time the agreement had
expired (to be superceded by increased tariffs for VCRs) in 1985,
the two firms had stopped manufacturing V2000 VCRs altogether.
The Politics of Transnational European Mergers and Take-overs
The wave of merger and take-over activity in the European
consumer electronics industry which peaked around 1982 and
1983 had begun in West Gemany in the late 1970s, when Thomson
swallowed up several of the smaller West German firms- Normende,
Dual, and Saba ...and Philips, apparently reacting to the threat it
perceived Thomson as posing to its West German interests, bought
a 24.5 per cent shareholding in Grundig.3° The frenzied series of
successful and unsuccessful merger and take-over bids which
unfolded in 1982 and 1983 is inseparable from the growing crisis of
the European industry and the major European firms’ perceptions
as to how they could restructure in order to survive in the face of
The first candidate which emerged for take-over on the West
German market was Telefunken, for which AEG, itself in desperate
financial straits, had been seeking a buyer since the late 1970s.
Telefunken’s heavy indebtedness, which was largely a consequence
of losses it had incurred in its foreign operations, posed a
formidable obstacle to its disposal, however, and first Thomson,
which had bought AEG’s tube factory, and then Grundig, baulked
at taking it on as long as AEG had not paid off its debts. While talks
on Telefunken’s possible sale to Grundig were still going on in
1982, Grundig’s own financial position was quickly worsening as a
result primarily of its mounting losses in VCR manufacture.
Grundig confessed publicly that if the firm carried on five more
years as it was doing, it would ‘go under like AEG’, which, in
summer 1982, had become insolvent. Grundig intensified his search
for stronger partners, which he had apparently begun by talking
with Siemens in 1981. In late 1982, at the same time as Grundig
and Philips were pressing for curbs on Japanese VCR imports,
Grundig floated the idea of creating, based around Grundig, a
European consumer electronics ‘superfirm’ involving Philips,
Thomson, Bosch, Siemens, SEL, and Telefunken. Most of the
prospective participants in such a venture were unenthusiastic
about Grundig’s plans, however, and the outcome of Grundig’s
search for a partner or partners to secure its survival was that
Thomson offered to buy a 75.5 per cent shareholding in the firm.
Political opinion in West Germany was overwhelmingly, if not
indeed uniformly, hostile to Thomson’s plan to take over Grundig.
The political difficulties which Thomson and Grundig faced in
securing special ministerial permission for their deal were exacer-
bated by the probability of job losses given a rapidly deteriorating
labour market situation, and by the fact that, as late as 1982 and
early 1983, an election campaign was in progress. Moreover, the
Federal Economics Ministry was apparently concerned that, if
Thomson took over Grundig, the West German Government would
have been exposed to the danger of trade policy blackmail from the
French Government, which could then have demanded increased
protection for the European consumer electronics industry as the
price for Thomson not running down employment at Grundig (and
in other West German subsidiaries).
The decisive obstacle to Thomson's taking over Grundig,
however, lay not with the position of the Federal Economics
Ministry (or that of the Government or the FCO or the Deutsche
Bank), but rather in that of Grundig’s minority shareholder,
Philips. Against expectations, the FCO announced that it would
approve the take-over, but only provided that Philips gave up its
shareholding in Grundig and that Grundig also abandoned its plans
to assume control of Telefunken. As talks on Grundig’s plan to take
over Telefunken had already been suspended, the latter condition
posed no problem to Thomson’s taking over Grundig.
Once it had been put on the spot by the FCO's decision, Philips
was forced to leave its cover and declare that it would not withdraw
from Grundig. Apart from its general concern at being confronted
with an equally strong competitor on the European consumer
electronics market, Philips’s motives in thwarting Thomson's take-
over of Grundig were probably twofold. First, Thomson evidently
did not want to commit itself to continue manufacturing VCRs
according to the Philips—-Grundig V2000 technology, but wanted
rather to keep the Japanese (VHS) option open and, according to its
public declarations, to work with Grundig on the development of a
new generation of VCRs. Secondly, Philips was, ahead of Siemens,
Grundig’s biggest components supplier, with annual sales to
Grundig worth several hundred million Deutschmarks. lf Thomson
had taken over Grundig, this trade would have been lost.
A sequel to the failure of Thomson's bid for Grundig was that in
1984, with bank assistance, Philips assumed managerial control of
Grundig. Thus, at the end of this phase of the restructuring
programme of the European consumer electronics industry, two
main groups have emerged, one centred around Philips, the other
around Thomson, and Blaupunkt is the only significant firm in
West Germany left under West German control. But a common
European response (i.e. one involving Philips and Thomson) to the
Japanese challenge of the kind which Max Grundig had envisaged
in 1982 had not come about, and may be less likely given
Thomson’s acquisitions in Britain and the US which make it a much
more powerful competitor to Philips. But the acceleration in
Japanese and also Korean inward investment in Europe in 1986-7,
especially in VCR production where there are now a total of twenty
Far Eastern-owned plants, suggests that the process of restructuring
within Europe is far from complete.
The recent experience of the European consumer electronics
industry points to the critical role of the framework and instruments
of regulation in trying to account for the different responses of the
various national industries and governments to the challenges
posed by growing Japanese competitive strength and technological
leadership. At one extreme is self-regulation by individual firms,
where governments eschew any attempt to determine the responses
which particular firms make to changing market conditions, whilst
adopting policy regimes such as tax and tariff structures and
openness to inward investment which critically affect the conditions
under which self-regulation takes place." At the other extreme is
regulation by government intervention at the level of firm strategy,
where governments seek speciﬁc policy outcomes by offering
speciﬁc forms of inducement to selected firms and denying them to
Am 16. Mai 1951 übernimmt Grundig die Lumophon-Werke (ebenfalls in Fürth) für den Betrag von 1,7 Mio. DM. Im gleichen Jahr entstehen erste Grundig-Tonbandgeräte. 1952 beginnt die Produktion von Fernsehgeräten. Das Unternehmen beschäftigt nun 6000 Personen und feiert am 12. Mai 1952 den millionsten Rundfunkempfänger. Die Baureihe von 1952/53 ist erstmals technisch und formal einheitlich gestaltet, wobei Grundig die prinzipielle Form bis 1956/57 beibehält. Ausser Typ 810 mit Flankengleichrichter enthalten alle Geräte einen integrierten FM-Teil mit Ratiodetektor. 1955 bezeichnet sich Grundig als den grössten Tonbandgeräte-Hersteller der Welt. 1956 kauft er das Telefunken-Rundfunkgerätewerk Dachau . 1959 besteht Grundig aus sieben Werken, zwei Tochtergesellschaften plus einer Neugründung in den USA. 1964 übernimmt Grundig die Tonfunk-Werke, Karlsruhe. 1969 beteiligt sich Grundig mehrheitlich an der Kaiser-Radio in Kenzingen. Max Grundig ist seit 1970 gesundheitlich angeschlagen.
Eine detaillierte Firmengeschichte enthält das 1983 erschienene Buch: «Sieben Tage im Leben des Max Grundig» von Egon Fein.
Allerdings lässt sich aus [481, Saba] auch wenig Schmeichelhaftes über das Machtstreben von Max Grundig erfahren.
1984 erhöht Philips die Beteiligung um 7 % und übernimmt die unternehmerische Verantwortung. 1986/87 kann das Unternehmen mit noch 19'500 Mitarbeitern wieder schwarze Zahlen schreiben. 1987/88 beschäftigt Grundig noch 18'700 Personen bei einem Umsatz von
3,2 Mrd. DM, wovon 90 % auf die Unterhaltungselektronik entfallen. In diesem Geschäftsjahr verlassen 2 Mio. Farbfernsehgeräte und 750'000 Videorecorder die Bänder. Max Grundig stirbt im Dezember 1989  - letztlich hatte er nicht das vierblättrige, sondern das dreiblättrige Kleeblatt als Firmenemblem gewählt.
Philips hat das Unternehmen vollständig übernommen. Mitte 90er Jahre beschäftigt Grundig noch 8000 Personen. Eine detaillierte Firmengeschichte findet sich in «kleeblatt radio» ab 5/93 des Förderverein des Rundfunkmuseums der Stadt Fürth eV.
1998 verkaufte Philips das Unternehmen an ein Konsortium unter Führung von Anton Kathrein von den Kathrein-Werken. Im Jahre 2001 wurde bei einem Umsatz von 1,2 Milliarden Euro ein Verlust von 150 Millionen Euro erwirtschaftet. Daher verlängerten die Banken im Herbst 2002 die Kreditlinien nicht mehr, was zur Insolvenz im April 2003 führte. In der Folgezeit wurden gewinnbringende Sparten (wie z.B. Bürogeräte, Autoradios) aus dem Konzern herausgelöst und einzeln verkauft. Verlustreiche Sparten wurden stillgelegt und die Mitarbeiter entlassen. Heute erhältliche Neuware von Grundig ist kaum noch "made in Germany".
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics Inc.), most commonly known as Philips, (Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) is a multinational Dutch electronics corporation.
Philips is one of the largest electronics companies in the world. In 2009, its sales were €23.18 billion. The company employs 115,924 people in more than 60 countries.
Philips is organized in a number of sectors: Philips Consumer Lifestyles (formerly Philips Consumer Electronics and Philips Domestic Appliances and Personal Care), Philips Lighting and Philips Healthcare (formerly Philips Medical Systems).
The company was founded in 1891 by Gerard Philips, a maternal cousin of Karl Marx, in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Its first products were light bulbs and other electro-technical equipment. Its first factory survives as a museum devoted to light sculpture. In the 1920s, the company started to manufacture other products, such as vacuum tubes (also known worldwide as 'valves'), In 1927 they acquired the British electronic valve manufacturers Mullard and in 1932 the German tube manufacturer Valvo, both of which became subsidiaries. In 1939 they introduced their electric razor, the Philishave (marketed in the USA using the Norelco brand name).
Philips was also instrumental in the revival of the Stirling engine.
As a chip maker, Philips Semiconductors was among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.
In December 2005 Philips announced its intention to make the Semiconductor Division into a separate legal entity. This process of "disentanglement" was completed on 1 October 2006.
On 2 August 2006, Philips completed an agreement to sell a controlling 80.1% stake in Philips Semiconductors to a consortium of private equity investors consisting of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), Silver Lake Partners and AlpInvest Partners. The sale completed a process, which began December 2005, with its decision to create a separate legal entity for Semiconductors and to pursue all strategic options. Six weeks before, ahead of its online dialogue, through a letter to 8,000 of Philips managers, it was announced that they were speeding up the transformation of Semiconductors into a stand-alone entity with majority ownership by a third party. It was stated then that "this is much more than just a transaction: it is probably the most significant milestone on a long journey of change for Philips and the beginning of a new chapter for everyone – especially those involved with Semiconductors".
In its more than 115 year history, this counts as a big step that is definitely changing the profile of the company. Philips was one of few companies that successfully made the transition from the electrical world of the 19th century into the electronic age, starting its semiconductor activity in 1953 and building it into a global top 10 player in its industry. As such, Semiconductors was at the heart of many innovations in Philips over the past 50 years.
Agreeing to start a process that would ultimately lead to the decision to sell the Semiconductor Division therefore was one of the toughest decisions that the Board of Management ever had to make.
On 21 August 2006, Bain Capital and Apax Partners announced that they had signed definitive commitments to join the expanded consortium headed by KKR that is to acquire the controlling stake in the Semiconductors Division.
On 1 September 2006, it was announced in Berlin that the name of the new semiconductor company founded by Philips is NXP Semiconductors.
Coinciding with the sale of the Semiconductor Division, Philips also announced that they would drop the word 'Electronics' from the company name, thus becoming simply Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Royal Philips N.V.).
In the early years of Philips &; Co., the representation of the company name took many forms: one was an emblem formed by the initial letters of Philips ; Co., and another was the word Philips printed on the glass of metal filament lamps.
One of the very first campaigns was launched in 1898 when Anton Philips used a range of postcards showing the Dutch national costumes as marketing tools. Each letter of the word Philips was printed in a row of light bulbs as at the top of every card. In the late 1920s, the Philips name began to take on the form that we recognize today.
The now familiar Philips waves and stars first appeared in 1926 on the packaging of miniwatt radio valves, as well as on the Philigraph, an early sound recording device. The waves symbolized radio waves, while the stars represented the ether of the evening sky through which the radio waves would travel.
In 1930 it was the first time that the four stars flanking the three waves were placed together in a circle. After that, the stars and waves started appearing on radios and gramophones, featuring this circle as part of their design. Gradually the use of the circle emblem was then extended to advertising materials and other products.
At this time Philips’ business activities were expanding rapidly and the company wanted to find a trademark that would uniquely represent Philips, but one that would also avoid legal problems with the owners of other well-known circular emblems. This wish resulted in the combination of the Philips circle and the wordmark within the shield emblem.
In 1938, the Philips shield made its first appearance. Although modified over the years, the basic design has remained constant ever since and, together with the wordmark, gives Philips the distinctive identity that is still embraced today.
The first steps of CRT production by Philips started in the thirties with the Deutsche Philips Electro-Spezial gesellschaft in Germany and the Philips NatLab (Physics laboratory) in Holland. After the introduction of television in Europe, just after WWII there was a growing demand of television sets and oscilloscope equipment. Philips in Holland was ambitious and started experimental television in 1948. Philips wanted to be the biggest on this market. From 1948 there was a small Philips production of television and oscilloscope tubes in the town of Eindhoven which soon developed in mass production. In 1976 a part of the Philips CRT production went to the town of Heerlen and produced its 500.000'th tube in 1986. In 1994 the company in Heerlen changed from Philips into CRT-Heerlen B.V. specialized in the production of small monochrome CRT's for the professional market and reached 1.000.000 produced tubes in 1996. In this stage the company was able to produce very complicated tubes like storage CRT's.
In 2001 the company merged into Professional Display Systems, PDS worked on LCD and Plasma technology but went bankrupt in 2009. The employees managed a start through as Cathode Ray Technology which now in 2012 has to close it's doors due to the lack of sales in a stressed market. Their main production was small CRT's for oscilloscope, radar and large medical use (X-ray displays). New experimental developments were small Electron Microscopy, 3D-TV displays, X-Ray purposes and Cathode Ray Lithography for wafer production. Unfortunately the time gap to develop these new products was too big.
28 of September 2012, Cathode Ray Technology (the Netherlands), the last Cathode Ray Tube factory in Europe closed. Ironically the company never experienced so much publicity as now, all of the media brought the news in Holland about the closure. In fact this means the end of mass production 115 years after Ferdinand Braun his invention. The rapid introduction and acceptation of LCD and Plasma displays was responsible for a drastic decrease in sales. Despite the replacement market for the next couple of years in the industrial, medical and avionics sector.
The numbers are small and the last few CRT producers worldwide are in heavy competition.
Gerard Leonard Frederik Philips (October 9, 1858, in Zaltbommel – January 27, 1942, in The Hague, Netherlands) was a Dutch industrialist, co-founder (with his father Frederik Philips) of the Philips Company as a family business in 1891. Gerard and his younger brother Anton Philips changed the business to a corporation by founding in 1912 the NV Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken. As the first CEO of the Philips corporation, Gerard laid with Anton the base for the later Philips multinational.
Early life and education
Gerard was the first son of Benjamin Frederik David Philips (1 December 1830 – 12 June 1900) and Maria Heyligers (1836 – 1921). His father was active in the tobacco business and a banker at Zaltbommel in the Netherlands; he was a first cousin of Karl Marx.
Gerard Philips became interested in electronics and engineering. Frederik was the financier for Gerard's purchase of the old factory building in Eindhoven where he established the first factory in 1891. They operated the Philips Company as a family business for more than a decade.
Marriage and family
On March 19, 1896 Philips married Johanna van der Willigen (30 September 1862 – 1942). They had no children.
Gerard was an uncle of Frits Philips, whom he and his brother brought into the business. Later they brought in his brother's grandson, Franz Otten.
Gerard and his brother Anton supported education and social programs in Eindhoven, including the Philips Sport Vereniging (Philips Sports Association), which they founded. From it the professional football (soccer) department developed into the independent Philips Sport Vereniging N.V.
Anton Frederik Philips (March 14, 1874, Zaltbommel, Gelderland – October 7, 1951, Eindhoven) co-founded Royal Philips Electronics N.V. in 1912 with his older brother Gerard Philips in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. He served as CEO of the company from 1922 to 1939.
Early life and education
Anton was born to Maria Heyligers (1836 – 1921) and Benjamin Frederik David Philips (December 1, 1830 – June 12, 1900). His father was active in the tobacco business and a banker at Zaltbommel in the Netherlands. (He was a first cousin to Karl Marx.) Anton's brother Gerard was 16 years older.
In May 1891 the father Frederik was the financier and, with his son Gerard Philips, co-founder of the Philips Company as a family business. In 1912 Anton joined the firm, which they named Royal Philips Electronics N.V.
During World War I, Anton Philips managed to increase sales by taking advantage of a boycott of German goods in several countries. He provided the markets with alternative products.
Anton (and his brother Gerard) are remembered as being civic-minded. In Eindhoven they supported education and social programs and facilities, such as the soccer department of the Philips Sports Association as the best-known example.
Anton Philips brought his son Frits Philips and grandson Franz Otten into the company in their times. Anton took the young Franz Otten with him and other family members to escape the Netherlands just before the Nazi Occupation during World War II; they went to the United States. They returned after the war.
His son Frits Philips chose to stay and manage the company during the occupation; he survived several months at the concentration camp of Vught after his workers went on strike. He saved the lives of 382 Jews by claiming them as indispensable to his factory, and thus helped them evade Nazi roundups and deportation to concentration camps.
Philips died in Eindhoven in 1951.
Marriage and family
Philips married Anne Henriëtte Elisabeth Maria de Jongh (Amersfoort, May 30, 1878 – Eindhoven, March 7, 1970). They had the following children:
* Anna Elisabeth Cornelia Philips (June 19, 1899 – ?), married in 1925 to Pieter Franciscus Sylvester Otten (1895 – 1969), and had:
o Diek Otten
o Franz Otten (b. c. 1928 - d. 1967), manager in the Dutch electronics company Philips
* Frederik Jacques Philips (1905-2005)
* Henriëtte Anna Philips (Eindhoven, October 26, 1906 – ?), married firstly to A. Knappert (d. 1932), without issue; married secondly to G. Jonkheer Sandberg (d. September 5, 1935), without issue; and married thirdly in New York City, New York, on September 29, 1938 to Jonkheer Gerrit van Riemsdijk (Aerdenhout, January 10, 1911 – Eindhoven, November 8, 2005). They had the following children:
o ..., Jonkheerin Gerrit van Riemsdijk (b. Waalre, October 2, 1939), married at Waalre on February 17, 1968 to Johannes Jasper Tuijt (b. Atjeh, Koeta Radja, March 10, 1930), son of Jacobus Tuijt and wife Hedwig Jager, without issue
o ..., Jonkheerin Gerrit van Riemsdijk (b. Waalre, April 3, 1946), married firstly at Calvados, Falaise, on June 6, 1974 to Martinus Jan Petrus Vermooten (Utrecht, September 16, 1939 – Falaise, August 29, 1978), son of Martinus Vermooten and wife Anna Pieternella Hendrika Kwantes, without issue; married secondly in Paris on December 12, 1981 to Jean Yves Louis Bedos (Calvados, Rémy, January 9, 1947 – Calvados, Lisieux, October 5, 1982), son of Georges Charles Bedos and wife Henriette Louise Piel, without issue; and married thirdly at Manche, Sartilly, on September 21, 1985 to Arnaud Evain (b. Ardennes, Sedan, July 7, 1952), son of Jean Claude Evain and wife Flore Halleux, without issue
o ..., Jonkheerin Gerrit van Riemsdijk (b. Waalre, September 4, 1948), married at Waalre, October 28, 1972 to Elie Johan François van Dissel (b. Eindhoven, October 9, 1948), son of Willem Pieter
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