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Aton could sell FFT to Chinese bidder for EUR 500mn: Reuters
Posted on Friday, 14 July 2017 13:51
FFT EDAG Produktionssysteme is in discussions with Chinese suitors regarding an acquisition which could value the provider of turnkey manufacturing facilities for car makers at roughly EUR 500.00 million, sources told Reuters.

According to the people in the know, owner Aton has hired Morgan Stanley to field interest in the automated and flexible systems producer from the likes of Shanghai Electric.

Reuters reported the sale, which is currently in the first round of offers stage, could fetch a multiple of some eight to nine times expected core earnings of roughly EUR 60.00 million in 2017.

The news provider added if a deal went ahead, it would be at a lower valuation than the acquisition of German automation firm Kuka by Chinese consumer appliance company Midea which completed in January for more than EUR 3.50 billion.

Reuters’ sources noted the fact FFT only specialises in assembly lines, and not in the supply of robotics, would drag down the overall price tag.

According to the website, the business’ turnover has steadily increased in recent years to reach EUR 701.60 million in 2016 (2015: EUR 638.00 million; 2014: EUR 578.00 million; 2013: EUR 462.00 million; 2012: EUR 439.00 million; 2011: EUR 248.00 million).

Reuters noted Chinese suitors are also lining up several other potential acquisitions within the German automobile industry-related space, despite new tighter European Union regulations regarding foreign corporate takeovers.

The news provider noted two bidders from the People’s Republic have made it through to the final round of an auction for Eisenmann which could value the family-owned paint shop maker at between EUR 400.00 million and EUR 500.00 million.

ZF Friedrichshafen is also in the last stages of handing over its body controls division to a Chinese company for USD 1.00 billion while a number of entities from the country are interested in the Lazard-marketed sale of Eissmann Automotives.

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