KEMET Company History
KEMET’s operations began in 1919 as a business of Union Carbide Corporation to manufacture component parts for vacuum tubes. In the 1950s, Bell Laboratories invented solid-state transistors along with tantalum capacitors and other passive components necessary for their operation. As vacuum tubes were gradually replaced by transistors, we changed our manufacturing focus from vacuum tube parts to tantalum capacitors. KEMET entered the market for tantalum capacitors in 1958 as one of approximately 25 United States manufacturers. By 1966, we were the United States’ market leader in tantalum capacitors. In 1969, we began production of ceramic capacitors as one of approximately 35 United States manufacturers, and opened our first manufacturing facility in Mexico.
KEMET Corporation is a Delaware corporation that was formed in 1990 by certain members of the Company’s management at the time, Citicorp Venture Capital, Ltd. and other investors that acquired the outstanding common stock of KEMET Electronics Corporation from Union Carbide. In 1992, we publicly issued shares of our common stock, which currently trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘‘KEM.”
In 2003, we expanded operations into Asia, opening our first facility in Suzhou, China. In fiscal year 2007, we acquired the tantalum business unit of EPCOS AG. In fiscal year 2008, we acquired Evox Rifa Group Oyj and Arcotronics Italia S.p.A. and, as a result, entered into markets for film, electrolytic and paper capacitors. In fiscal year 2012, we acquired Cornell Dubilier Foil, LLC (whose name was subsequently changed to KEMET Foil Manufacturing, LLC and Niotan Incorporated (whose name was subsequently changed to KEMET Blue Powder Corporation), a tantalum capacitor powder manufacturer.