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ICAPE Group enters the South African market with the acquisition of TraX

After building more than 25 business units over the world in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, ICAPE Group now enters the African continent with the acquisition of TraX Interconnect, a medium size Printed Circuit Board Factory, in South Africa. The French Based company also opened ICAPE South Africa based on TraX Offshore Manufacturing to develop its technical trading activities around this project.

Thomas Chea, VP ICAPE Group, surrounded by Daniel Dock (left) and Iegsaan Khan (right)

Thomas Chea, VP ICAPE Group, surrounded by Daniel Dock (left) and Iegsaan Khan (right)

ICAPE Group continues its expansion on the PCB world with an ambitious project. For the 4th time in 2021, ICAPE Group welcome a new company in its organization but for the first time in its history, (the company was founded in 1999 by Mr. Thierry Ballenghien), the project includes a PCB factory. The business model of ICAPE Group is clear and smart: “Thanks to its expertise, ICAPE Group sources the best suppliers in Asia to supply its customers with electronic products and ensures a full range of services with our headquarters in China. When the sales activities are growing in a country, we establish a business unit and build a team to manage the projects with the closest proximity. Recently, the company experienced massive growth in business volumes, and we decided to study several projects, such as mergers and acquisitions to meet our customers and prospects’ needs with the highest efficiency” , said Mr. Cyril Calvignac, CEO of ICAPE Group. Following this strategy, discussions with TraX Group have been engaged, and all the players from both companies quickly found out that they have a lot to achieve together, as explained by Thomas Chea, Vice President Asia of ICAPE Group: “ICAPE Group has started serving South Africa market since several years. Over the years, we feel the growing potential of this BRICS country, as well as the increasing need for local support from many customers. South Africa market has good potential business in mining, industrial, lighting, telecom, aerospace, and military. Cape Town, where TraX Group is located, is the Tech hub of South Africa. With this acquisition, ICAPE Group got 2 new entities: ICAPE - TRAX (formerly TRAX Interconnect, the PCB factory) and ICAPE South Africa (formerly TRAX Offshore Manufacturing, the technical trading company). ICAPE – TRAX will serve our customers in prototype, quick turn, and small quantity at the start of projects, while ICAPE South Africa when the projects go to mass production. This perfect complementarity will leverage ICAPE Group expertise and buying power in factories abroad”

Thomas Chea, VP ICAPE Group, surrounded by Daniel Dock (left) and Iegsaan Khan (right)

For Daniel Dock, Managing Director of TraX Group, this opportunity is a chance that his company could not ignore: “From humble beginnings, TraX was founded in a household garage in Cape Town due to the founding owner requiring PCBs for his personal hobby projects. As word got around so did demand and so a manufacturing facility was born, in 1991. Since competing on price with the Far East was not viable, the strategy was to reposition TraX for more high-tech manufacturing, of smaller quick turnaround volumes. A strategy still pursued to this day. ICAPE Group is known as a Buyer and Seller of Printed Circuit Boards which focuses on ensuring that the quality of its sold products is of a high-quality standard. We are looking forward to the next chapter of the story with ICAPE Group as partners, and we are excited to see what a “Combined” future is going to bring, with the support of a powerful and well-organized supply chain that can leverage good pricing and deliveries from the Offshore manufacturers. We are excited about the investment into the local manufacturing facility which will cement our position as the leading manufacturer in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Thomas Chea, VP ICAPE Group, surrounded by Daniel Dock (left) and Iegsaan Khan (right)

It's an important milestone for ICAPE Group who enters a new era in its development by acquiring a business unit, and a factory, run by 60 employees. The target is to make ICAPE-TraX a real reference in the African continent, and this will be possible thanks to massive investments, reveals Thomas Chea: “ICAPE Group will invest in production equipment, streamline the factory organization, and position the factory on its best performance segments. ICAPE South Africa will now buy directly from Asia, mainly China, and leverage ICAPE Group's big buying power, all customers' goods, whatever their volume, will be consolidated and shipped together, taking advantage of ICAPE Group's negotiated transport rates. We will take care of the shipment, from the factory to the customer inventory in DDP. All our products are controlled twice, by the QC of the factory and by ICAPE Group Quality Inspectors, to ensure the best quality of the shipped goods.”

For local customers, the arrival of ICAPE Group in South Africa will significantly increase the level of services and the range of products that they will be able to benefit from. Daniel Dock from TraX Group is extremely happy and confident: ICAPE Group will be able to provide us with good technological and marketing support, the days of having to “go it alone” will be over. We hope to one day be able to sell our South African-made PCBs on the ICAPE E-Shop. We are also excited about diversifying our product offering with the addition of the CIPEM group of products. In the longer term, we are also excited about the opportunity of growing the ICAPE Group brand into the neighboring African countries, as this is the largest potential market for PCBs in the years to come!”

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