Edwards Group £1.6 billion takeover

Edwards Group, a high-tech manufacturer based in Sussex, UK, could be set for a takeover in excess of £1 billion by Atlas Copco, a major Swedish industrial company.

The two companies have announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement in a transaction valued at up to approximately $1.6 billion, including the assumption of debt.

Edwards Group is a leading developer and manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products, abatement systems and related value-added services. It has over 3,200 full-time employees and 500 temporary workers operating in 30 countries worldwide engaged in the design, manufacture and support of high technology vacuum and exhaust management equipment.

Atlas Copco was founded way back in 1873 and manufactures industrial tooling and equipment.

Edwards’ shareholders have entered into voting agreements with Atlas Copco to vote in favor of the merger and the Board of Directors of Edwards has unanimously recommended the offer to all Edwards’ shareholders.

An Edwards Group statement suggested that Edwards and Atlas Copco have a complementary businesses fit.

It is felt that both companies share a similar strategic direction, with growth focused on technology leadership and customer service and the benefits of greater scale will help accelerate Edwards’ growth strategy and provide more opportunities for Edwards’ employees.

A new Vacuum Solutions Division will be formed within the Atlas Copco Compressor Technique business area, with headquarters in Crawley, UK.

Jim Gentilcore, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Edwards, said, “This strategically and financially compelling transaction provides the opportunity for our stockholders to receive an attractive premium for their shares. On top of the cash payment at closing, analyst consensus for the full year and our strong start to the third quarter leads us to believe it is realistic for us to achieve the results that would deliver an additional cash payment towards the upper end of the range to our shareholders.

“This transaction also delivers many benefits for Edwards’ customers and employees. The two companies share very similar strategic goals, strong brands and leading market positions. The Edwards brand and reputation will benefit from the support, expertise and financial strength that Atlas Copco will bring.”

Ronnie Leten, President and CEO of Atlas Copco, said, “We recognise the strength of Edwards’ people and products as well as their excellence in technology and innovation. We are excited that this professional company will join our Group.”

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