Atlas Copco to acquire Edwards

Expands into process vacuum solutions

Edwards will become part of Atlas Copco’s new Vacuum Solutions division within the Compressor Technique business area, led by divisional President Geert Follens

Swedish engineering group Atlas Copco has agreed to buy Edwards, a global supplier of vacuum and abatement solutions headquartered in the UK, for £1bn (US$1.6bn) in cash. The firm said the move would take it into the £3.9bn vacuum solutions market.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.

Edwards has more than 90 years’ experience in sophisticated vacuum pumps for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Its products and services are integral to manufacturing processes, such as for semiconductors and flat panel displays. They are used within an increasingly diverse range of industrial applications.

'Edwards is a technology leader with a well-developed structure and solid customer relationships in industries we know well. It is a great fit for Atlas Copco,' said Ronnie Leten, President and CEO of Atlas Copco.

'The vacuum solutions market is growing and has similar characteristics to our existing industrial businesses.'

Edwards is a technology leader with a well-developed structure and solid customer relationships in industries we know well

Edwards employs more than 3,200 people and is headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex. Revenues in 2012 were £626m, with more than 50% in Asia, with an adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin of 19.1%.

'We recognise the strength Edwards has in its people and products as well as its excellence in technology and innovation. We are excited that this professional company will join our Group,' added Leten.

On completion, Edwards will become part of Atlas Copco’s new Vacuum Solutions division within the Compressor Technique business area, led by divisional President Geert Follens.

Jim Gentilcore, Chief Executive of Edwards, said: 'This strategically and financially compelling transaction provides the opportunity for our stockholders to receive an attractive premium for their shares.

'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.'

Atlas Copco is an industrial group with world-leading positions in compressors, expanders and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries.

In 2012, Atlas Copco employed 39,800 people and had revenues of €10.5bn.

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