The Printed Circuit Engineering Association announced it has signed a letter of intent to acquire certain assets of UP Media Group Inc., including its signature publications and industry-leading trade shows. The deal establishes PCEA as the leading association for printed circuit engineers worldwide, with over 2.5 million engagements annually to printed circuit engineers, designers, fabricators and assemblers.

The acquisition includes the annual PCB West and PCB East trade shows, which attract more than 3,000 registrants annually; PRINTED CIRCUIT DESIGN & FAB (PCD&F) and CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY magazine, with a subscriber base of more than 65,000; the PCB UPdate digital newsletter; PCB Chat, the podcast series; the PCB2Day workshops; and Printed Circuit University, the dedicated online training platform. 

Under terms of the acquisition, key UP Media Group staff will join PCEA, including Mike Buetow, who becomes president; Frances Stewart, who becomes vice president, sales and marketing; Chelsey Drysdale, who becomes chief content officer; and Brooke Anglin, senior sales associate.

The staff joining PCEA will report to the PCEA board, led by Chairman Stephan Chavez. The PCEA board is made up of 12 industry volunteers, who set policy and oversee finances and operations for the organization.  

“This acquisition came about after months of discussion between PCEA and UPMG,” said Mike Buetow, vice president, UP Media Group. “We recognized that the goals and strengths of the respective organizations truly complemented each other, and there would be direct synergy to merging our efforts to better the industry.”

“The biggest feature PCEA brings to the industry is relationship building,” said Stephen Chavez, chairman, PCEA. “Through our extensive network of engineers worldwide, we help industry professionals make informed decisions. With the acquisition of these industry-leading brands and databases, we have both the expertise and the reach to help any engineer, any time.”

“After 45 years in the printed circuit engineering industry, it’s time to boot down my machine,” said Pete Waddell, founder and president, UPMG. “Throughout my career as a designer, magazine editor and trade show producer, I’ve been a strong advocate for engineers to take charge of their own destinies. The PCEA was founded by folks I’ve known for decades to do just that. I can’t think of a better group to carry on the traditions of PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY, PCB East, and PCB West than the PCEA.” 

The PCEA and UPMG have not set a final closing date for the asset transfer but expect it to take place on or about January 1, 2022.