German firm setting up U.S. offices in Howard

Neschen AG, maker of laminates, plans headquarters, plant

January 18, 2002|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

A German-based manufacturer of laminates is establishing a U.S. headquarters in Howard County this year, joining two other foreign companies there.

Neschen AG, which makes self-adhesives and laminating machines, mainly for the printing and graphics industry, will eventually bring 100 employees to its 100,000 square feet of newly constructed offices in Troy Hill, according to the county Economic Development Authority.

The space contains the corporate headquarters and a distribution facility, which is expected be ready next month. A second phase will incorporate a manufacturing plant, officials said.

The move shows Howard County is popular beyond the region, said Richard W. Story, executive director of the authority.

"The focus was that Howard County is internationally known," he said. "The impact of a headquarters is significant."

Neschen is the third international company to move recently to Howard County. Fiducial, a French-based professional services firm, moved its regional headquarters to the county over the summer, and since that time has doubled the number of its employees to 67, officials said.

Bookham Technology PLC, a British photonics company that opened its plant about a year ago, has hired about 50 employees.

Being based in Howard County resonates in the community because of the services, such as financial, legal, and printing, that headquarter offices need to function.

It also has an impact on quality of life, Story said.

"It is the CEO and senior staff who lead in philanthropy and fund-raising," he said. "They bring their personal wealth and corporate wealth into the effort."

Neschen needed a U.S. headquarters after its October acquisition of the graphics division of the Hunt Co. Neschen will close plants in Yuba City, Calif., and Statesville, N.C.

The operations of the North Carolina plant will be moved to Howard County.

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