Gestamp acquires SSAB HardTech

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 12, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Spanish company Gestamp Automocion acquires SSAB's subsidiary SSAB HardTech for an enterprise value of SEK 1,425 million.

Gestamp Automocion manufactures and supplies components to the automotive industry, including rear axels, complete door assemblies, switch panels, bumpers, A- and B- pillars and chassis subassemblies. The company has 7,600 employees, and had sales of EUR 1.2 billion in 2003.

Gestamp Automocion is 65% owned by the Spanish Group, Corporacion Gestamp. Corporacion Gestamp is one of Spain's largest private companies, with sales of EUR 2.1 billion in 2003 and owned by the Riberas family.

"SSAB HardTech has successfully developed the technology to press-harden boron steel. We have complementary technologies and this is the piece of the puzzle we have been missing," says Francisco J. Riberas Mera, President and CEO of Gestamp Automocion.

"The acquisition of SSAB HardTech gives us access to expertise and capacity in press-hardening. Our intention is to continue to develop the press-hardening technology, with Lulea as our centre for this," continues Francisco J. Riberas Mera.

"For some time now, we have been discussing SSAB HardTech's development and future base. Synergies with other operations in the Group are limited, and we are facing investments in both press-hardening capacity and in assembly capacity. SSAB HardTech has large synergies with Gestamp in this respect" says Anders Ullberg, President and CEO of SSAB.

"This deal is also good for our shareholders. The price for SSAB HardTech equals a P/E-ratio of 9.5 and results in a capital gain for SSAB of approx. SEK 750 million. We are now able to fully concentrate on our niche strategy within the steel operations", continues Anders Ullberg.

The President of SSAB HardTech Thord Jonsson will now retire as planned. Jens Bengtsson, who today became Acting President, sees a lot of advantages with the deal:

``The companies complement each other, both in terms of markets and production. In addition, Gestamp wants to continue developing our press-hardening technology. We will now be part of one of Europe's largest suppliers of automotive components, with all that this implies," says Jens Bengtsson.

Jens Bengtsson has been employed by SSAB HardTech since 1991 and has been a member of the management group since 1994.

The sale is conditional on relevant regulatory approvals and is expected to close as of year-end.

SSAB HardTech develops, manufactures and markets safety components for the automotive industry. In 2003 sales was SEK 810 million and pre tax profit SEK 126 million. Production is carried out in Lulea (Sweden) and in Mason (Michigan, USA). The number of employees is approx. 550 persons.

This information was brought to you by Waymaker

The following files are available for download: