BIETIGHEIM-BISSINGEN, GERMANY - Dürr Technologies AG (FRA: DUE) has initiated overtures to acquire all of Homag Group (FRA: HG1), the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial woodworking machinery and parent company of Stiles Machinery Inc. of Grand Rapids, MI.
Dürr Technologies said it plans to leverage a series of agreements it recently enacted that would give it a 53.7% ownership of Homag shares, plus a 75.8% share of voting rights, to launch a voluntary takeover by acquisition of Homag that would give it 100 percent ownership.
Dürr, a leading supplier of assembly, paint, cleaning systems and other technologies for the automotive and other industries, also announced last week that it has reached agreements with several major Homag shareholders to acquire a total of 53.7% of Homag shares. The company said it has purchase contracts totaling € 219 million ($296.2 million) in place with Deutsche Beteiligungs AG for 39.5% of shares, the Schuler/Klessmann share pool for 3% and two other shareholders totaling approximately 11%. The share buys are subject to approval by Germany’s antitrust authorities.
Added to this, Dürr said it has reached an agreement with the Schuler family and the Klessmann foundation, who hold a 25.1% stake in Homag as a share pool, for Dürr to join the pool by virtue of its pending purchase of the 3% Schuler/Klessman share pool. Dürr has already gained the consent of the share pool for it to complete the transfer agreement which will give Dürr 75.8% of the votes for that purpose.
With this added leverage, Dürr said it will submit a voluntary public takeover offer to Homag shareholders pursuant to the German Securities Acquisition and Takeover Act to acquire all 15,688,000 shares of Homag. Dürr plans to offer the free shareholders of Homag cash payments of €26.35 ($35.64) per share. Dürr said this is 13% more than the volume-weighted average XETRA price of the share over the past three months. Both Dürr and Homag trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Dürr said it does not intend to “squeeze-out” or delist of the Homag stock and added that Homag Group will continue operating as an independent division under the Homag brand within the Dürr Group.
Gerhard Schuler, along with Eugen Hornberger, founded Homag in 1960. The company’s first major product, what it calls the “world’s first edgebanding machine using the hot-cold technique,” was launched in 1962. Today, Homag lays claim to a 28% world market share of industrial woodworking machinery. In February, Homag acquired Stiles Machinery, the largest distributor of woodworking machinery in North America. Homag posted a profit of €12.7 million ($17.2 million) on sales of €789 million ($1,067 million) for its 2013 fiscal year.
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Dürr, which posted a profit of €141 million ($191 million) on worldwide sales of €2,407 million ($3,255 million) in its last fiscal year, said it plans to help “step up” growth strategies initiated by Homag in recent years.
“Positive effects are expected, among other things, through globalized value added and optimized processes and IT, as well as in the area of purchasing,” Dürr said.
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