The Swatch Group Ltd. and SMARTRAC N.V. agree on the sale and purchase of Sokymat Automotive GmbH
Biel/Bienne and Amsterdam, September 22, 2008
The Swatch Group Ltd., in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, and SMARTRAC N.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands (stock abbreviation SM7), signed a contract today regarding the acquisition by SMARTRAC of 75 percent of Sokymat Automotive GmbH, a company of The Swatch Group Ltd. Manfred Rietzler, Chief Technical Officer of SMARTRAC, has purchased the remaining 25 percent of the shares in Sokymat Automotive GmbH from Swatch Group today for the same terms and conditions as SMARTRAC Group on a pro rata basis. The acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions.
The Sokymat Automotive GmbH and the totality of its some 75 employees will continue their profitable activity in Reichshof-Wehnrath under the new ownership.
The Swatch Group Ltd. separates from Sokymat Automotive GmbH to further focus its activities on its thriving and dynamically growing core business of watches and jewelry, with its 19 brands as well as its strategically important related production and technology companies.
The prospects of Sokymat Automotive GmbH in their traditional automotive domain remaining intact, The Swatch Group Ltd. agreed to the sale of Sokymat Automotive GmbH to one of the leading suppliers of RFID components. Their activities complement each other perfectly.
For SMARTRAC, the acquisition will open up additional growth opportunities enabling the access into the market of RFID components for the automotive industry where Sokymat Automotive holds a strong market position.
Sokymat also produces RFID inlays and discs that are applied in manufacturing industries, logistics, laundry, animal identification and science applications. As a result of the acquisition, a new platform will be created on which to accelerate the existing industrial and logistics business of SMARTRAC by combining it with the respective business lines of Sokymat Automotive.
Sokymat Automotive and SMARTRAC have very similar positions in the global RFID value chain. Thus, the acquisition will not create any channel conflicts. The long-term expertise of Sokymat Automotive in the low frequency RFID transponder production including own machinery building capabilities and proprietary know-how are expected to contribute to strengthening SMARTRAC’s technology base. Synergies are also expected to come up from joint research and development activities.
The Swatch Group Ltd. will, through its company EM Microelectronic-Marin SA, remain connected with the Sokymat Automotive company. EM Microelectronic-Marin SA is a leader in the development and productions of ultra low-power integrated circuits. As a major player in RFID integrated circuits, EM Microelectronic-Marin SA will remain a key supplier of the Sokymat Automotive company thus enhancing the position of EM Microelectronic-Marin SA in this field.
Ferton Holding SA