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ATS Automation launches tender offer for food and beverage equipment supplier


ATS Automation Tooling Systems plans to acquire CFT S.p.A., an Italy-based global supplier to the food and beverage equipment market.

ATS – which is headquartered in Cambridge, Ont. and operates 20 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia – has put together a voluntary public tender offer for the acquisition of €4.60 per share to represent total equity value of €88 million and a total enterprise value of €166 million (~CA$260 million).

“This is a highly strategic transaction that will allow us to establish a broader growth platform for ATS in the regulated food and beverage equipment market, and positions us well in attractive niches,” says Andrew Hider, CEO of ATS, in a statement.

“CFT enables us to capture more of the value chain in a vertical we covet for its stability and growth, and complements our recent MARCO acquisition.”

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Established in 1945 and headquartered in Parma, Italy, CFT serves a global customer base through its portfolio of brands and eight facilities in Italy, Spain, Germany and Ukraine.

With 140 patents, the company builds machines and systems in the attractive fresh produce sorting, processing and packaging niches. In 2019, CFT generated revenue of €254 million and EBITDA of €17.5 million.

“ATS is ideally suited to take CFT to the next level in our markets,” says Roberto Catelli, representative of the major shareholders of CFT. “The major shareholders are very pleased to support this transaction as it will create both opportunity and value for CFT, our customers and employees in the years ahead.”

ATS expects to garner about €7 million in annual cost efficiencies within three years of closing, including elimination of CFT’s public company costs, supply chain savings and cost structure optimization.

ATS also expects to generate approximately €7 million of EBITDA within three years from joint product development, cross-selling of complementary customer solutions and aftermarket initiatives.

The tender offer is being launched by ATS Automation Holdings Italy S.r.l., an LLC owned by ATS.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.