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Umeco is planning to sell Pattonair, its Supply Chain business, to a company established by funds advised by Exponent Private Equity for approximately £145.8 million.
The sale will allow Umeco to create a business focused on the advanced composites market which the board considers has attractive long-term growth prospects.
Andrew Moss, formerly Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed Chief Executive and Steven Bowers, formerly Group Financial Controller, has been appointed Finance Director of Umeco, in each case with immediate effect. Clive Snowdon, formerly Chief Executive, and Douglas Robertson, formerly Finance Director, have resigned from the Board of Umeco with immediate effect.
The disposal allows Umeco Composites to capitalise on its market positions within the composites sector. Umeco Composites has higher margin characteristics and a broader customer base than Pattonair and the board is confident it has greater long-term growth prospects. The net cash proceeds from the disposal will be used primarily to reduce the net indebtedness of the Umeco Group and so provide a stronger financial base to support the group’s growth strategy for Umeco Composites.
The disposal is subject to the approval of the company’s shareholders and a general meeting is expected to be held in mid June 2011, with completion expected to take place during July 2011.
Neil Johnson, Chairman of Umeco, said: “This is a turning point in Umeco’s long history as a specialist engineering group. The board has concluded that it is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders to focus the Umeco Group’s resources on its composites business, which it considers has attractive long-term growth prospects in its core markets of aerospace and defence, wind energy, automotive and marine. The board would like to thank Clive and Doug for the valuable contribution that they have made to the Umeco Group and we wish them well for the future. The board would also like to thank the management and employees of Pattonair. We look forward to this new chapter with confidence.”
Andrew Moss, Chief Executive of Umeco, said: “The proceeds from the disposal will be used to strengthen our balance sheet which will enable us to build further scale, both organically and through potential acquisition. We relish the opportunity to bring additional focus and resources to bear to enhance what we believe are attractive market positions in advanced composites with a view to generating additional shareholder value over time.”
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