Canada/Italy/Germany: Takeover of CFT one step further

The German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt) has approved the acquisition of CFT S.p.A. (Catelli Food Technology), one of the world’s leading companies in the construction of food processing and packaging lines based in Parma, Italy. Buyer is ATS Automation Holdings Italy S.r.l., a company belonging to ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. with headquarters in Ontario, Canada.

ATS announced in December its intention to acquire by way of a voluntary public tender offer CFT including its subsidiary Rolec Prozess und Brautechnik GmbH, based in Chieming, Germany. The tender offer of EUR 4.60 (USD 5.50) per share represented a total equity value of EUR 88 million (USD 106m) and a total enterprise value of EUR 166 million (USD 200m)

Established in 1945 and headquartered in Parma, Italy, CFT S.p.A. is the operational holding company of the CFT Group. Through its eight facilities in Italy, Spain, Germany and Ukraine the company is active in the design, development and production of turn-key machines and systems for the food and beverage sector.

CFT serves a global customer base. With 140 patents, the company is a technology leader in the fresh produce sorting, processing, and packaging niches. In July 2018, CFT acquired 61.72% of Comac, a leading company in the sector of bottling and kegging plants based in Bergamo, Italy. (, 19.7.2018)

In 2019, CFT generated revenue of EUR 254 million (USD 307m) and EBITDA of €17.5 million (USD 21m). Approximately 40% of its revenue comes from Europe, 23% from North America and the remainder from other regions. CFT derives 30% of its sales from single machines, 50% from complete systems, and 20% from aftermarket parts & services. The ordinary shares of CFT are currently listed on the AIM Italia stock exchange.

ATS, the buyer is an industry-leading automation solutions provider with focus in custom automation, repeat automation, automation products and value-added services, including pre-automation and after-sales services, to address the sophisticated manufacturing automation systems and service needs of multinational customers in markets such as life sciences, chemicals, consumer products, electronics, food, beverage, transportation, energy, and oil and gas. Founded in 1978 in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada by German immigrant Klaus Woerner, ATS employs approximately 4,200 people at 20 manufacturing facilities and over 50 offices in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange

"This is a highly strategic transaction that will allow us to establish a broader growth platform for ATS in the regulated food and beverage equipment market, and positions us well in attractive niches," said Andrew Hider, CEO of ATS.  "With a 75-year track record, proven technology and a dedicated workforce of 900-plus employees, CFT enables us to capture more of the value chain in a vertical we covet for its stability and growth, and complements our recent MARCO acquisition. CFT also offers significant value creation potential for ATS shareholders as we work with the CFT team to apply the ATS Business Model to achieve cost and revenue synergies."

"As an industry leader in automation with a long track record of innovating for customers, ATS is ideally suited to take CFT to the next level in our markets," said Roberto Catelli, Representative of the Major Shareholders of CFT. "The major shareholders are very pleased to support this transaction as it will create both opportunity and value for CFT, our customers and employees in the years ahead."

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