The company, based in Edmonton, Canada, announced this week that it is set to emerge from creditor protection in August 2013. On July 9th, 2013, Micralyne held a vote with its creditors on the plan to emerge from creditor protection and the company's creditors reportedly voted overwhelmingly in support of the plan. This sets the stage for court approval of Micralyne's plan for emergence for next week. The action to seek protection in March 2012 was intended to protect the company's existing customer base, new customers, vendors and employees as Micralyne worked to overcome some business pressures created from a significant contraction of revenues. We spoke briefly with Mike Ciprick, Micralyne's acting president and CEO.
MEMS Journal: It's great to hear that Micralyne has now emerged from creditor protection. Micralyne has been one of the leading MEMS foundries worldwide for many years but then got into financial trouble. What went wrong?
Mike Ciprick: Micralyne faced a significant contraction of revenues due to a loss of a major customer to a single competitor. This loss is attributed to the specific competitor upgrade of its capabilities using substantial government funding. In addition, Micralyne experienced difficulties in the ramp up to production for a new major customer over that same time period.
MEMS Journal: Why did the company get into financial trouble when most of the other MEMS foundries continued to grow?
Mike Ciprick: We do not necessarily agree with this statement. Our market intelligence indicates that almost all of the competition in the past year faced significant revenue contraction or had growth with low margins. By comparison and on the rebound, Micralyne enjoyed 30% growth with EBITDA of greater than 20% for our last fiscal year.
MEMS Journal: How damaging was the creditor protection process for the company? How many employees do you have now as compared to 2-3 years ago? What impact did it have on your client base?
Mike Ciprick: Micralyne worked very closely with its customers with full transparency. This has provided comfort to our existing customer base that Micralyne is indeed on the road to recovery with a fast pace. As a result, we were delighted to confirm that we lost only one customer (at the development stage) due to Micralyne being in creditor protection, whereas we were able to attract three new customers to our portfolio over the same time period.
MEMS Journal: What are your immediate plans for the next 6 months? What are the main objectives and milestones?
Mike Ciprick: Micralyne is working on several joint activities with strategic customers to target new applications for MEMS. This work is still underway so it is a bit early to elaborate further on the details.
MEMS Journal: Going forward, how are you positioning Micralyne in the MEMS foundry landscape? What makes Micralyne truly unique?
Mike Ciprick: As Micralyne is based in Alberta, Canada, we will be working with local partners to target the energy sector. We have received an overwhelming positive initial response from potential clients in the oil and gas industry.
MEMS Journal: In the past few years, more companies have gotten into the MEMS foundry business. How will you ensure that Micralyne stays competitive?
Mike Ciprick: Micralyne has been working with local partners to develop unique capabilities that would give leading edge solutions to our customers. An example of that effort is the µSilQ platform for wafer level packaging applications.
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