UK metrology specialist Renishaw has put itself up for sale.
The company specialises in measurement tools such as its FORTiS encoder used for semiconductor wafer dicing equipment, but is probably better know for its metal 3D printing technology and systems. Its optical encoders are used in equipment from ASM Pacific Technology, the world’s largest supplier of wafer assembly and packaging equipment.
Founders Sir David McMurtry, executive chairman, and John Deer, Non-Executive Deputy Chairman, own approximately 53 percent of the shares of the Gloucestershire-based company and are looking to sell all their 38 million shares. The current share price of over £69 values the company at £5bn (€5.8bn), although some investors expect the price to fall.
“We are both grateful for our continued good health, however we recognise that neither of us is getting any younger. Now finding ourselves in our 80s, our thoughts have increasingly turned to considering the future of our shareholdings in the company and how we can actively contribute to securing the future success of the business,” said McMurty and Deer. “With that in mind, we approached the rest of the Board to indicate that we felt the time was now right to discuss the best way to achieve this.
“As the founders of Renishaw, we understand the importance of Renishaw’s culture, our place in the communities in which we operate, our commitment to research and development, and the loyalty of our staff, our suppliers, and the customers we serve; these together have been the foundation of our success for almost 50 years. With the Board, we are therefore focused on ensuring that we find the right new owner for our business – one who respects and will continue to nurture these important attributes.”
The move indicates that a suitable management buyout has not been identified, although that is still an option.
Next: Exploring the options for Renishaw
“Following the indication from David and John that they would like to sell their shares, my fellow directors and I have thoroughly considered various alternatives in partnership with our advisers,” said Sir David Grant, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director at Renishaw. “In considering these options the Board, including David and John, has had regard to the interests of all the Company’s stakeholders. The Board has unanimously concluded that it would be appropriate to investigate the sale of the Company and is therefore launching a formal sale process.
The Board intends to seek a buyer who will recognise the value of Renishaw as an innovation-led business and respect the unique heritage and culture of the business, its commitment to the local communities in which its operations are based, and who will enable the Company to continue to prosper in the long-term.”
Neither the company nor the founders are currently in discussions with any potential offeror or in receipt of a possible offer for the Company, and there can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the company, or even proposed, or as to the terms of any proposal or offer that may be made.
The company has been restructuring its business over the last year, particularly the 3D printing activity. Revenue for the six months ended 31 December 2020 was £255.1m, compared with £259.4m for the corresponding period last year.
“We achieved good revenue growth in our APAC region, where we continue to see strong demand for our encoder product lines which are benefitting from increased investments in the semiconductor and electronics capital equipment markets. We experienced continuing weaker demand in our EMEA and Americas regions, which have been affected by the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic and consequent challenges to key sectors, particularly aerospace,” said McMurty.
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