Disposal of Needle-Punched Non-Wovens business
Low & Bonar PLC (the "Group”), the international performance materials group, has agreed to dispose of its Needle-Punched Non-Wovens ("NPNW") business (comprising the remaining part of its Civil Engineering division), for a cash consideration of €17.3m (£15.4m) to Nimbus, a Netherlands based private equity fund.
The disposal will comprise the sale of the entire issued share capital of both Low & Bonar NV and Low & Bonar Kft, companies based in Belgium and Hungary respectively.
The transaction is expected to complete by 31 August 2019, subject to the fulfilment of a limited number of conditions in the sale agreement, including approval by the German competition authorities. The management team and employees of NPNW will transfer with the business.
This transaction will complete the disposal of the Group's Civil Engineering division, in line with the Board's previously stated intention. The disposal of NPNW will allow the Group to further reduce its net debt levels and invest in more profitable parts of its business. NPNW has an established market position and an excellent customer base, and the new owner is well placed to take it through its next stage of development.
In the year ended 30 November 2018, NPNW recorded a profit of approximately €1.3m (£1.2m), out of Civil Engineering underlying divisional profits of €0.1m. Management had expected NPNW to make a profit contribution of c€3.1m to the Group in the year to 30 November 2019. At 30 November 2018, the assets of NPNW were approximately €35.2m (£31.1m), out of a divisional total for Civil Engineering of €46.9m (£41.4m). The transaction will generate an estimated £10.1m non-underlying pre-tax loss for the Group. The net proceeds of the disposal will be used to reduce the Group's net borrowings.
Daniel Dayan, Executive Chairman, commented:
"We are pleased to announce the disposal of the Needle-Punched Non-Woven business as part of our strategy to simplify our portfolio, pay down debt, and to improve focus on our core business. We have found a good buyer, who is very eager to work with the existing teams in Belgium and Hungary to enable the further growth and development of this business. The disposal of the Civil Engineering division has been a strategic priority for management this year and we are pleased to complete this important milestone as we continue to work to improve shareholder value."
For further information, please contact:
Low & Bonar PLC
+44 (0)20 7535 3180
Daniel Dayan, Executive Chairman
Ian Ashton, Chief Financial Office
+44 (0)20 7457 2020