11th September 1964

Major Guernsey employer Tektronix went public

Tektronix was once a major employer in Guernsey. The US electronics company had chosen Guernsey as its European manufacturing base in the late 1950s, so it could benefit from its proximity to the Common Market (later the EU) and its attractive tax regime.

Originally it occupied a building on Victoria Avenue but, according to the Vintage Tek site, it later commissioned a new factory close to the airport. This building is still in use by another major employer on the island: Specsavers.

The company certainly invested considerably in the island. However if the local staff magazine, Tek-Topics, is anything to go by, the size of the Atlantic was proving to be a buffer to smooth communications.

Tektronix floats

The first edition of the magazine’s second volume (PDF) featured photos of Tektronix equipment being unloaded at Guernsey Airport, news about the factory being extended yet further, and an editorial that asked whether the company should be more open about what it did on Guernsey in light of coverage in the Guernsey Press that, it hints, was a little wary.

However, the issue was dominated by the news that the company, Tektronix Inc, had been floated on the New York and Pacific stock markets on 11 September.

“Here in Europe we tend to miss much of the detail which [head office] employees have enjoyed,” the magazine explained.

The shares opened at $19.75 apiece, but within just a few days were changing hands at more than $30 each, delivering an immediate profit for their original holders of over 33%.

Tektronix closed its Guernsey operation in early 1990.


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