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After 97 years, Beede Electrical Instruments to cease manufacturing in New Hampshire

Last modified: 10/11/2014 1:38:29 AM
Nearly 100 years after its founding in Penacook, Beede Electrical Instruments will soon stop manufacturing in Concord.

Thomas G. Faria Corp., of Montville, Conn., bought the 97-year-old company in September 2013 when longtime CEO Walter Pelletier retired.

At the time, Beede had about 35 employees, down from a high of 700.

Last month, the company announced a new name – Faria Beede Instruments Inc. – and began moving all manufacturing to the Connecticut plant.

About 20 jobs have moved to Connecticut so far, and no New Hampshire workers accepted the company’s offer to move and continue working, President Rob Janisch said.

Another four manufacturing jobs will move to Connecticut soon. When that move is complete, Beede’s only presence in New Hampshire will be an office with about 10 employees performing customer service, engineering and order entry work, he said.

“We had some very good people, very skilled people who took pride in their work, and it’s unfortunate they are no longer doing that work,” he said. “In an acquisition, you’re at the mercy of what the acquiring company wants to do.”

Janisch joined Beede three years ago as president. At the time, it was unprofitable, having lost significant work in the auto industry during the recession.

A year later, the company was profitable again. A group of employees offered to buy the company from Pelletier, but Faria had already made a competing offer, he said.

Faria received a $3.5 million low-interest economic recovery loan from the state of Connecticut for the purchase, according to a 2012 press release from Gov. Daniel Malloy’s office.

Faria Beede offered employees a severance package if they chose to stay on staff until their position moved to Connecticut, Janisch said. The packages were based on employees’ position and tenure with the company, and averaged about one month’s salary, he said.

City staff yesterday notified state agencies that help displaced workers, said deputy city manager for development Carlos Baia.

The state rapid response team made contact with the company and offered help to interested employees, he said.

Long local history

Beede was founded in Penacook in 1917.

Founder Walter E. Beede sold the company 10 years later, but when the stock market crashed in 1929, he re-assumed control as the new owners were unable to pay their bills.

At the time, the company made meters to test the batteries in early radios and in automobiles.

Beede’s nephew, Paul Pelletier, joined the company in 1934, and became president in 1948, after Beede’s sudden death. He ran the company for 40 years, until his death.

For most of its history, the company made meters for engines, including tachometers, voltmeters, speedometers and combination meters.

At its height in 2001, it employed 700 people at three locations, in Penacook, Northfield and Belmont.

Paul’s son, Walter Pelletier, assumed control in 1988, until the sale of the company to Faria.

Beede Electrical Instruments still owns the Village Street property where the company has been located since 1957.

The property – 8.9 acres and a 60,000 square foot factory – was assessed at $2.56 million last year. Faria Beede leases space in the building on a month-to-month basis, Janisch said.

When the last of the production jobs and equipment are moved to Connecticut, the company will end the lease and move the remaining 10 employees to a smaller office, he said.

Representatives of Faria Beede in the Connecticut office did not return requests for comment.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)


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