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Austria`s ATB launches takeover of Brook Crompton`s parent

01 August, 2005

The Austrian motor-maker ATB has taken a 29.99% stake in the Singaporean firm Lindeteves-Jacoberg, which owns the motor manufacturers Brook Crompton, Schorch and Western Electric. The stake, in the form of an £8m loan, is the first step in a phased takeover which, if it goes to plan, will see ATB acquiring more than 50% of Lindteves-Jacoberg`s shares in the first half of 2006.

ATB`s chief executive Christian Schmidt (above) is already describing the deal as an acquisition. He says it will double ATB`s sales, enlarge its product portfolio, and give it access to markets - particularly in Asia - where it has previously been under-represented. "We will definitely join the world elite in the motor branch," he declares.

Loss-making Lindeteves-Jacoberg had sales last year of around £125m. In the first half of this year, it sustained a net loss of £11.7m on sales of £45.8m, compared to £8.9m (on £65.1m) a year before. ATB`s cash injection should boost L-J`s working capital and help it to restructure its debt with creditors.

ATB Austria Antriebstechnik is part of the privately-owned A-Tec Industries group. It makes a variety of motors and drives products including explosion-proof and brake motors, servomotors, permanent magnet motors, switched reluctance motors, and inverters. There appears to be an overlap between ATB`s products and those of Lindeteves-Jacoberg`s subsidiaries, especially Brook Crompton. Some rationalisation seems inevitable.

ATB has a workforce of around 4,000 and sales worth €180m. It has subsidiaries in Germany, France, the Czech Republic, and Serbia and Montenegro. Last October, it bought Leeds-based Morley Electric Motors, which specialises in explosion-proof motors for mining applications, to create a UK subsidiary called ATB Morley.

ATB accounts for more than half of all motors sold in Europe for use in domestic and garden appliances. It is working with several car-makers to develop powertrains for hybrid electric vehicles and sees the automotive market as a promising growth area. It expects to create up to 300 new jobs in Austria to serve this growing market although, it says that it could take three to five years for this to happen.




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