Beijer Electronics Acquires Elektronik-Systeme Lauer

ARCwire -- Beijer Electronics has acquired German human-machine interface (HMI) business Elektronik-Systeme Lauer through its HMI products business area, from the Augusta Technologie of Germany listed group. Lauer generated sales of some EUR 12 m in 2006 and has 60 employees. The purchase price is approximately EUR 6 m. The acquisition was financed with cash.

Lauer, incorporated in 1979, is an established, well-recognized player with a strong brand in Germany and the rest of central Europe. The company has a broad range of proprietary operator terminals within the HMI area that complement Beijer Electronics' product range, mainly in the higher-end segment. Lauer also has a broad customer base in Germany, with its own sales resources, two other resellers in Germany, and distributors in most European countries. The company's estimated market share in Germany is some 5%. Lauer has some capacity for assembly and final fitting of HMI products; the majority of production is outsourced.

Lauer enjoyed healthy sales and profit performance in the first quarter of 2007, and estimates sales of some EUR 14 m in 2007, with about 80% of sales made in the German market. However, profitability has been low for the last two years, and accordingly, in association with the transaction, Beijer Electronics has decided to implement a restructuring package intended, in time, to raise profitability to the same level as the rest of the business area. This package, implying nonrecurring expenses of some EUR 1.1 m, will reduce Beijer Electronics' earnings in 2007.

Beijer Electronics will retain Lauer's strong brand and focus on cross sales of the group's various brands through the global sales organization. Beijer Electronics has an estimated market share in Germany of 8%, including Lauer, implying that the group is positioning as one of the German market's major vendors.

Lauer will be consolidated into Beijer Electronics' accounts from June 1 onwards. The acquisition is expected to add approximately EUR 8 m to consolidated sales in the year. Excluding nonrecurring expenses of EUR 1.1 m, Lauer is expected to make a minor contribution to consolidated earnings per share in 2007.

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