25 October 2000
WAGON PLC ('WAGON') ACQUIRES CERTAIN ASSETS OF
HAWTAL WHITING FOR UP TO GBP8.075 MILLION
Wagon is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the
Administrative Receivers to acquire certain of the assets of the UK business
of Hawtal Whiting Engineering Limited and the issued common stock of Hawtal
Whiting's US subsidiary, Hawtal Whiting, Inc. for an initial consideration of
GBP4.0 million. In addition, Wagon has agreed to assume approximately GBP3.7
million of external borrowings of Hawtal Whiting, Inc. and to make further
payments to the Administrative Receivers of up to GBP375,000 depending on the
value of the assets transferred.
The activities being acquired provide a comprehensive range of design and
engineering services for automobile manufacturers including Ford and General
Motors and 'tier one' suppliers. Principal services provided include
structural analysis, styling, testing and development, focused particularly in
the area of body-in-white and door systems engineering.
This acquisition provides Wagon with key design and engineering skills which
complement its existing automotive businesses. It enables Wagon to offer its
automotive customers in Europe and the USA an integrated design and build
capability. Wagon intends to further strengthen and develop Hawtal Whiting as
a full service engineering partner.
The assets being acquired generated a turnover of GBP45.5 million and
operating profits before management charges from Hawtal Whiting Holdings PLC
of GBP35,000 (USA: profit of GBP823,000; UK: loss of GBP788,000) in 1999. The
book values of the net assets acquired, excluding the bank indebtedness to be
assumed amount to approximately GBP8.2 million. The consideration will be
satisfied from Wagon's existing bank facilities.
Commenting on the acquisition, Nick Brayshaw, Chief Executive of Wagon said:
Hawtal Whiting is a company we know well. It has an excellent reputation in
the automotive industry for the quality and depth of its engineering skill
base. The acquisition will significantly enhance our own capabilities,
enabling Wagon to offer a more comprehensive package to our customers.
We intend to continue using the Hawtal Whiting name, to invest in the business
and to develop further the skills and resources required to grow the business.
We believe the acquisition will also provide an excellent opportunity to the
existing customers and employees of Hawtal Whiting.
Nick Brayshaw, Group Chief Executive Tel: 0121 717 2000
David Sleath, Group Finance Director Tel: 0121 717 2000