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USTER Technologies to accept sweetened buy-up offer

By Virginia F. Bodmer-Altura

USTER Technologies (CH) Board of Directors has given up its resistance against being bought up by Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) after the poison pill was sweetened from CHF 38 to CHF 44 per registered share of USTER Technologies or a premium of 6.8 % on the closing price of the shares on February 17. TICO will in turn also vote in favour of a dividend payment of CHF 2.50 per share non-deductable from the share offering price. The offer to all the remaining shareholders will be formally made on February 29, 2012.

The showdown came already to a closer end when TICO communicated on February 10, 2012 that it already owns 50.34 % of USTER Technologies. The now reached mutual agreement between the two parties will offer private shareholders a better price and after a long time also the sweetener of a dividend. At the time when USTER Technology went public the price per share was set at CHF 54.

The Board of Directors will recommend now the shareholders to tender their shares to TICO.

TICO’s Senior Managing Director and Member of the Board of TICO, Akira Onishi, states that his company is the ideal strategic partner for the sustainable development of USTER Technologies. It is intended to create synergies between the two companies and combining the USTER quality management systems with TICO’s expertise in spinning and weaving machinery in order to deliver added value to the customers. Onishi confirms also that USTER will continue operate under the leadership of the existing management.

At the same time of the above communication USTER Technologies released the excellent results of 2011, certainly also supporting the Board of Directors firm stand on the value of the company. USTER’s turnover has increased 44.9 % to CHF 192.5 million (CHF 132.8 million) and the operating result (EBITA) was 63.7 % higher and amounted to CHF 56.6 (CHF 36.2) million thus the EBITA margin improved from 26.0 % to 29.4 %.

For 2012 the USTER management expects a downturn in the industry cycle but a soft landing compared to the crisis of 2009. This will translate in a decline in sales but the strong profitability will not be affected.

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