SFS Group to Acquire Unisteel, a Singapore-Based Leading Precision Engineering Solutions Provider
HEERBRUGG, Switzerland & SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The SFS Group announced today that, through its wholly owned subsidiary, SFS intec, it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Unisteel Technology International Limited ("Unisteel") from a holding company ("the Seller") owned since 2008 by the management and employees of Unisteel and an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (together with its affiliates, "KKR").
Established in 1960 and based in Switzerland, SFS intec is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of precision formed components, engineered fasteners and mechanical fastening systems to customers across a diverse range of industries including the automotive, construction, aircraft, electronics, and transportation industries.
Unisteel is an innovation-driven solutions provider and manufacturer of precision components, with multi-disciplinary competencies in precision fasteners, stamped components, machining parts, engineered plastics, optical parts, and surface treatment. With its headquarters based in Singapore and key manufacturing facilities located in China andMalaysia, Unisteel serves a wide range of industries including data storage, mobile applications, and consumer electronics on a global basis.
The newly combined businesses of the SFS Group and Unisteel will employ more than 7,000 people globally, operate 25 manufacturing facilities across Europe, Asia and North America, and possess an enhanced range of production capabilities. Upon completion of the transaction, Unisteel's current management team will join SFS and retain responsibility for their global electronics business.
Commenting on the transaction, Heinrich Spoerry, Chairman and CEO of the SFS Group, said: "Led by a highly experienced management team, Unisteel is an industry leader in the hard disk drive and mobile sectors, with longstanding and high quality relationships with leading blue-chip customers. We are extremely excited about this partnership with Unisteel, and we look forward to supporting the continued growth of the Unisteel business as a member of the SFS family."
Helmut Binder, CEO of SFS intec, added: "Unisteel is an excellent strategic fit for SFS intec. The business will strengthen our positioning as a supplier of highly engineered fastening solutions, as well as enable us to become a global player in the fast growing electronics market. The addition of Unisteel's comprehensive and world-class Asian operations will transform SFS intec into a business with a truly global manufacturing platform. We see meaningful opportunities to generate substantial synergies particularly in the areas of cross-selling, R&D, technology and manufacturing, and will work closely with the Unisteel team to achieve these goals."
Bernard Toh, Chairman and CEO of Unisteel, commented: "The acquisition of Unisteel by SFS intec is a significant step forward for our business. The Unisteel management team is very excited about our integration into the SFS Group, which will enable us to extend our customer reach as well as expand our product portfolio. Over the past four years, we have benefited from a meaningful partnership with KKR — KKR has brought the right skills and experience to the business, enabling Unisteel to rapidly grow and develop into a multinational corporation."
"At the time of the investment, KKR saw the opportunity to partner with Unisteel's management team to help strengthen their foundational capabilities in order to make the business more responsive and more diversified, and therefore better positioned for the future," said Ming Lu, Member of KKR and Head of Southeast Asia. "With this transaction, Unisteel now has an excellent platform for further growth as a part of the SFS Group. We wish Unisteel and the combined enterprise continued success."
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2012.
Rippledot Capital Advisers acted as lead financial adviser to the Seller, and Credit Suisse acted as financial adviser to the Seller. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Allen & Gledhill LLP acted as legal counsels to the Seller. UBS acted as financial adviser to the SFS Group, and WongPartnership LLP acted as the legal counsel to the SFS Group.
About SFS Group
The SFS Group is a multi-industry group with headquarters in Switzerland, annual sales revenue of US$1.2 billion in 2011, and more than 4,100 employees globally. The core businesses are the development, manufacturing and marketing and sale of engineered precision components, precision fasteners, application specific fastening solutions and the distribution of fasteners professional tools and architectural hardware in Switzerland. SFS serves customers from diverse industries such as automotive, construction, aircraft, electronics, and transportation.
Unisteel was founded in 1988, listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Stock Exchange in 2000, and privatised by KKR in 2008. Unisteel is a leading precision engineering solutions provider with multi-disciplinary competencies in the areas of fastening systems, stamped, cold forged and machined metal components, plastics optics, and surface treatment technology. Unisteel serves a diverse range of customers in the hard disk drive, mobile telecommunications, consumer electronics, industrial, and automotive sectors. The Unisteel group has manufacturing facilities in China and Malaysia.
For more information, please visit www.unisteeltech.com.
Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a leading global investment firm with US$61.5 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2012. With offices around the world, including six across the Asia Pacific region, KKR manages assets through a variety of investment funds and accounts covering multiple asset classes. KKR seeks to create value by bringing operational expertise to its portfolio companies and through active oversight and monitoring of its investments. KKR complements its investment expertise and strengthens interactions with investors through its client relationships and capital markets platform. KKR is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE: KKR).
For more information, please visit www.kkr.com.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Without limiting the foregoing, statements regarding the acquisition of Unisteel and the resulting combined business may constitute forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to the risk that the terms of such transaction may be modified, the transaction may not be completed at all or the benefits and synergies from such transactions are not realized. The forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, assumptions and expectations of the parties referenced herein, taking into account all information currently available to them. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to these parties or are within their control. None of the parties undertakes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date on which such statements were made except as required by law.
For further information, please contact:
SFS service AG (for SFS Group)
Contact No.: +41 71 727 51 55
Hill+Knowlton Strategies (for KKR and Unisteel)
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Asia (Hong Kong)
Contact No.: +852 2894 6313
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Asia (Singapore)
Contact No.: +65 6390 3354
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Asia (Singapore)
Contact No.: +65 6390 3362
Source: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.
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