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Swiss Daetwyler agrees to buy Premier Farnell


Switzerland’s Daetwyler Holding AG has agreed to buy Britain’s Premier Farnell Plc in a cash deal valuing the maker of the Raspberry Pi mini computer at USD$1.12 billion including debt.

Explaining the reasons for the deal, Daetwyler said the two electrical components distributors had complementary product ranges and regional networks and the combination would boost their scale and global reach. Swiss engineering and manufacturing companies have been cutting jobs at home and expanding in foreign markets after the central bank abandoned the ceiling for the franc against the euro in January 2015, abruptly making Swiss goods a fifth costlier abroad.

Combination would create a group with total revenues of 2.5 billion Swiss francs

Daetwyler, which distributes more than 500,000 electronics products under brands like Nedis, said the combination would create a group with total revenues of 2.5 billion Swiss francs (USD$2.6 billion). Premier Farnell has been having a tough time. Its shares had lost about 10 percent since last September when the company announced a cut in its dividend and the sale of a non-core unit as profits fell due to slower sales growth in its key UK and North America markets.

The deal values shares in Premier Farnell, based in the northern English city of Leeds, at 615 million pounds. Daetwyler plans a 200 million franc capital increase and the sale of treasury shares worth 60 million francs to help fund the deal. Pema Holding, its long-time majority shareholder, will maintain its current stake.

Daetwyler will target total annual synergies

Daetwyler will target total annual synergies of 50-70 million francs by the end of 2019, made up of gross profit synergies of 25-35 million francs and cost synergies of 25-35 million francs. Daetwyler, based in the central Swiss town of Altdorf, said the deal would add to earnings once completed. Target date for completion is in the final three months of 2016.

“Distribution industry consolidation can be highly synergistic, driven by warehouse consolidation and purchasing benefits,” analysts at Citi wrote in a note.