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(Janesvile, WI) By Jim Leute, Gazette

A Janesville manufacturer's acquisition of a New York company is expected to strengthen the local operation as it grows its worldwide semiconductor business.

Since 1980, VNE Corp. has manufactured high-end stainless steel fittings, valves and specialty products at its 51,000-square-foot plant on Barberry Drive.

With products for both sanitary and industrial applications, VNE serves the dairy, food processing, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, chemical and water treatment industries, among others.

VNE recently bought High Purity Technologies, a company founded in 1983 in Poughkeepsie, New York.

HPT supplies a variety of industries electro-polished and oxygen cleaned tubes and fittings for ultra high purity distributions systems and related applications.

VNE is a member of the worldwide Neumo Ehrenberg Group, a German multinational that is one of the world's largest privately held manufacturers and distributors of stainless steel products and metal cutting tools. Employing more than 1,300 people, it has facilities in 11 countries and a distribution network in 40.

The group operates in three areas:

--Stainless steel flow technology, which includes VNE.

--Tooling products, which are marketed worldwide as Vargus. The products are manufactured in Israel and distributed in North America, South America and Central America by Vargus USA, a division of VNE in Janesville.

--Stainless steel trading, a division that buys and sells raw stainless steel materials such as sheet, hollow bars, solid bars, tubing and pipes.

In Janesville, VNE employs about 80 people.

Dan Larsen, VNE's chief executive officer, said HPT will remain in New York, but it will undoubtedly strengthen the Janesville plant as it works to bolster the company's semiconductor business in the United States, Canada, Latin American and South America.

“This acquisition represents a key next step in the strategic growth of our semiconductor business worldwide,” Larsen said. “We look forward to the many new opportunities that will be offered as a result of our relationship."

Larsen said the acquisition will help VNE become a worldwide supplier of semiconductor grade tubing and fittings, oxygen cleaning services and other mechanical polish needs.

VNE built its own plant on Barberry Drive in 1991 and essentially doubled its size in 1995 to incorporate manufacturing. Two years later, it bought and connected to a neighboring building for the Vargus operation.

Larsen said VNE's business continues to do well in Janesville, and the acquisition of HPT should lead to even more sales growth.

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