Bekaert and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan announce merger of the global ropes and advanced cords businesses of Bekaert and Bridon

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Source: Bekaert Group

Bekaert and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, current owner of Bridon, have reached an agreement to establish Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group, a new joint venture where Bekaert will hold a majority stake.

The new group will combine the ropes and advanced cords capabilities of almost 3 000 employees,19 manufacturing entities across 11 countries, market-focused R&D, and a global sales and service network.

Bruno Humblet, currently Chief Financial Officer of Bekaert, has been appointed CEO of Bridon Bekaert Ropes Group. Andrew Caffyn, currently Non-Executive Chairman of Bridon, has been appointed Chairman of the Board.

Bekaert and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan have entered into an agreement to merge the ropes and advanced cords businesses of Bekaert with Bridon. Bekaert will hold a 67% equity share and Ontario Teachers' will hold 33%.

The intended combination will leverage the scale and complementary strengths of Bekaert and Bridon and will pursue value creation for customers and for the new group. Bekaert is contributing its advanced cords business and a well-established ropes presence in Latin America, Canada and Australia. Bridon holds strong positions in Europe and the USA with a portfolio of rope wire, strand and steel and synthetic ropes. The merger will also create opportunities for further growth in Asia. The combined business will account for approximately € 600 million in sales on an annual basis.

Upon completion of the deal, the transaction is estimated to add approximately € 350 million to Bekaert's consolidated sales on an annual basis. Alongside this transaction, which has an overall cash-neutral impact, Bekaert has purchased the remaining 35% shareholding held by Matco Cables SpA in Bekaert's ropes entities. The definitive merger agreement is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in the first half of 2016. Until closing, both businesses will operate separately and continue to serve their customers autonomously.

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