PCB Manufacturer with Global Sales Network Starteam, CML and CIA Join Forces

CML Group and CIA Group Holdings, both global leaders in Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing, sourcing and supply solutions, announce the completion of a merger agreement effective April 30th, 2021.

CML, founded in 2001, with its European organization managed by Moritz Hoeft has been growing steadily over the past 20 years. The European team focuses on technical project ramp-up, outstanding logistics solutions with its own warehouse – covering more than 10.000 square feet – and after-market services with an own lab run by CML’s quality team in Germany. Daily customer support for existing and new customers as well as strategic development towards new sectors keep the teams busy and drove CML to a unique success story in the past years.

The CML organization in Asia lead by Daniel Jacob integrated since 2018 its own manufacturing facility Starteam in Sichuan. The offices in Hong Kong and Shenzhen take care of supply chain management, guaranteeing the highest level of delivery performance at competitive cost level. Our technical experts in the areas of quality and engineering focus on continuous development with our long-term partners in China, South Korea and Thailand. The Asian sales organization develops and serves global and local accounts from their branches located in China, Indonesia, Japan and India.

As of today, over 75% of CML’s customers are located in Europe, with the automotive segment being its strongest market, followed by white goods, industrial and telecommunications.

CML’s unique set-up connecting Starteam by rail to their own warehouse in Germany provides several advantages to its customers guaranteeing a very stable and sustainable supply chain.

CIA is a Hong Kong based company formed in 2000 supplying a wide range of PCBs and custom-made products to OEMs and CEMs in the electronics manufacturing industry. Providing consistent customer service satisfaction delivered with a local touch has made CIA a strategic partner to its international customers in key segments such as automotive, telecom, IOT and home automation amongst others. CIA has over 200 active customers with Italy and China being CIA’s main geographical markets.

A dynamic growth in the last decade and a successful partnership strategy approach over the past years led CIA into a natural vertical integration process and into other electronic product sectors that inspired the Hong Kong based company to split into two business units:

CIA Printed Circuit Boards Ltd., which focuses its expertise on supplying single-sided, STH, double-sided and multilayers, HDI, flexibles, flexi-rigid and aluminum base PCBs from quick turn, prototype, small quantity to large batch production, and CIA Custom Products Ltd., which provides manufacturing services and solutions to a strategic range of custom made products such as battery packs, key switch panel solutions, coaxial cables, cable assemblies, audio devices, connectors and antenna products.

Both business units are supported by CIA Electronics (Shenzhen) Ltd, which operates sales in Mainland China, provides the technical and quality operations locally and supports the global team of technical and commercial experts based in offices in Italy and Hong Kong.

With the merger CML and CIA join forces to realize the possibilities for accelerated progress of both groups. The joint plan will push forward CML’s already successful strategy of being “more than a manufacturer”, a transformation that was highly appreciated by its customers, as CML became the first fabless PCB supplier acquiring its own PCB manufacturing plant – Starteam in China’s Sichuan province – in 2018. There are plans together and with the new financial possibilities to expand this PCB manufacturing facility and potentially create other PCB manufacturing plants in Asia in the near future.

The merger furthermore enables the group to access new markets, expand its geographical reach, diversify its product portfolio and extends its factory partner network. Close collaboration and synergies will create multiple advantages for the group’s international customer base, from broadened technical expertise to stronger logistics solutions leverage to additional product offerings.

The combined sales is projected to more than double over the next 5 years from an estimated 2021 annual turnover of 225 million USD.

“We are excited to join forces with CIA and look forward to growing our business together and leading the way to truly being more than a manufacturer and a recognized global force in the PCB industry. Also, we look forward to the vertical integration and offering our customers a range of custom-made products like connectors, battery packs, antennas and cable assemblies” said Daniel Jacob, MD of the CML Asia organization.

Frank Raffa CEO of CIA commented “the agreement is a fantastic opportunity to ensure future growth and stability whilst creating commercial advantages and new markets for both companies. We are also excited about being part of the “more than a manufacturer” revolution which CML has started in the PCB industry”.

For more information on CML and CIA, please visit their websites: www.cml-globalsolutions.com and www.ciahk.net