Edwards sold to Atlas Copco

Posted on 19 Aug 2013 by Ruari McCallion

Acquisition increases access to $6bn smaller-scale vacuum pump market

The board of Edwards Group, the British pump makers based in Crawley, has recommended that the company accepts a $1.2bn takeover offer by Swedish company Atlas Copco.

Depending on this year’s financial results, the price could be as much as $10.50 per share and no less than $9.25/share, which represents an 11 per cent premium over Edwards’ average share price over the past 30 days.

The acquisition will enable Atlas Copco to expand in vacuum pumps for semiconductor production and to broaden its client base beyond the construction and mining industry.

Edwards has access to a $6bn vacuum-pump market with an offering of smaller-scale units used in semiconductor production and flat panels. Its vacuum products and abatement systems create controlled, low-pressure, particle-free environments needed by makers of semiconductors as well as solar-energy equipment.

Edwards Group had sales of about $1bn last year, more than half in Asia, and has 3,200 employees. Its two largest shareholders are CCMP Capital Advisors LLC, the former private-equity unit of JP Morgan Chase & Co., and Unitas Capital Pte, an Asian buyout firm, which hold equal stakes of more than 42% each, according to Bloomberg data. Including debt of $400 million, Atlas Copco is paying about 6.42 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The offer will be financed using existing funds and is scheduled to close in Q1 2014.