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Rafsec and Raflatac Merge

One of the leading names in RFID tags and inlays, Finland's UPM Rafsec, today announced a merger with a maker of pressure sensitive labelstock called Raflatac, also of Finland.
Jan 19, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 19, 2006—One of the leading names in RFID tags and inlays, Finland's UPM Rafsec, today announced a merger with a maker of pressure sensitive labelstock called Raflatac, also of Finland. The new company will be called UPM Raflatac and will have two well-defined focuses: RFID and labelstock. Indeed, the company's website has only two options, directing the user to choose either the "RFID business area" or the "Labelstock business area".

The company apparently wants to be more strongly associated with the UPM name. UPM is a giant forestry and paper corporation traded on both the New York and Helsinki stock exchanges. Its 2004 revenues topped EUR 10 billion (about US$12.1 billion), and it employs more than 33,000 people internationally. According to UPM Raflatac's president Heikki Pikkarainen, "The new name enables us to benefit from all the solidity attached to UPM -- a name that stands for the world’s leading forest products company."

RFID industry implications of the merger are probably few. Raflatac's labelstock business (already more than $1 billion annually) will likely become stronger with the now-available resources of UPM behind it. But Rafsec was already part of the UPM family, so it's not clear that there is new benefit for the RFID business as a result of the merger. The "Rafsec" name, by which the tag and inlay company was recognized throughout the RFID industry, will apparently be retired. The website has already been updated to reflect the new brand.

Rafsec participated in the flurry of RFID pricing reduction announcements that came from a number of vendors last fall when it announced in late September the availability of Gen1 and Gen2 inlays for less than 10 cents in purchase quantities of 50,000 or more. Those inlays were a product of the company's new plant in Fletcher, North Carolina, which had opened the week prior.

Read the merger announcement
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