Axel Johnson to sell Hekimian Laboratories, Inc. to Britain's Spirent plc and become largest owner in Spirent
Axel Johnson to sell Hekimian Laboratories, Inc. to Britain's Spirent plc
and become largest owner in Spirent
Axel Johnson Inc. has agreed to sell Hekimian Laboratories, Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary, to Spirent plc (LSE:SPT). Under the terms of the
transaction, Axel Johnson will receive USD 712 M in cash plus USD 863 M in
Spirent plc shares for a total consideration of USD 1,575 billion.
As a result of the transaction, Axel Johnson will become the largest
shareholder in Spirent plc, with approximately 12 percent of the shares,
and will be represented on the Board by Göran Ennerfelt, CEO of Axel
Hekimian Laboratories, Inc., which is based on Rockville, Maryland, in the
US, was acquired by Axel Johnson Inc. in 1983. The company developed
profitably to become a leading player in the North American market for
voice and data traffic control equipment and systems in telecommunication
networks. The products in addition contribute to diagnosing and repairing
network faults. Hekimian also has plants in California and Colorado in the
US. Its customer portfolio includes Verizon (formerly GTE and Bell
Atlantic), AT&T, Sprint, WorldCom, Concert, Telmex and SBC Communications.
During the period January to August 2000, Hekimian had net sales of USD
129 M (full-year 1999 USD 102 M). Pretax profit on regular activities
amounted to USD 36 M (full-year 1999 19).
Spirent plc is an international network technology company that focuses on
high growth and high-margin activities. Spirent is a world leader in
advanced telecommunications testing systems and network products. In 1999,
the company had net sales of GBP 675 M, which generated profit for the
year of GBP 98 M before goodwill amortization and tax. Spirent plc is a
FTSE 100 company and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
"Hekimian and Spirent make a good match," says Antonia Ax:son Johnson,
Chairman of the Axel Johnson Group. "The expertise and technologies
contained in both companies complement each other well and combined they
will make a significant impact on the world market. For Hekimian and its
employees, the merger will generate opportunities for more rapid growth.
For the Axel Johnson Group, which has owned Hekimian since 1983, this is a
positive transaction that demonstrates the value of a long-term investment
"It will be a pleasure for me to become a member of the Spirent Board and
I look forward to being able to take an active part in Spirent's continued
growth within the expansive telecommunications sector," says Axel Johnson
CEO Göran Ennerfelt.
For further information, please contact:
Antonia Ax:son Johnson, Chairman of the Board tel. +46-8-701 61 00/ dir.
Göran Ennerfelt, President and CEO, Axel Johnson AB tel.+ 46-8-701 61 00/
or visit the respective web sites:
The Axel Johnson Group consists of three legally and financially
independent groups with a common owner, Antonia Ax:son Johnson and family.
It is a fourth-generation family-owned company originating in the A.
Johnson & Co. trading company, which was founded in 1873.
Axel Johnson AB operates in food products and other consumer goods,
through import, distribution and retail operations. The operations are
conducted in the Nordic market, with a focus on Sweden. In total,
subsidiaries and affiliated companies have sales of nearly SEK 40 billion
- excluding VAT - and some 13,000 employees.
Axel Johnson International AB conducts trading and distribution
operations, primarily focusing on industrial products in the European
market. Annual sales amount to SEK 4 billion, with 1,200 employees.
Axel Johnson Inc. conducts operations in North America. The Group is
active in manufacturing and trading, within the business areas Energy,
Telecommunications and Environment. Annual sales amount to approximately
SEK 23 billion, with 1,600 employees, primarily in the U.S.