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EQT V completes its public tender offer for HTL-Strefa

  • EQT V successfully completes its public tender offer to acquire HTL-Strefa S.A. – the first investment by EQT V in Poland and the largest public-to-private transaction in Poland ever by a private equity fund
  • Shareholders representing more than 97% of the share capital have tendered their shares during the subscription period
  • The offer values HTL-Strefa’s equity at PLN 886 million (EUR 210 million)
  • EQT V to initiate squeeze-out of the outstanding shares in the company within 3 months following settlement

EQT V, a leading private equity fund, which on 8 October 2009 announced a public tender offer to acquire 100% of HTL-Strefa S.A. (“HTL-Strefa” or the “Company”) the world's leading manufacturer of safety and personal lancets for capillary blood sampling, completes successfully its acquisition of HTL-Strefa.

The acceptance level in the public tender offer to acquire 100% of HTL-Strefa S.A. exceeded 97% of the total number of shares outstanding. The public tender offer was announced on October 8 and was open for acceptances until November 26. Settlement of the transaction is planned for December 4.

As a result of the public tender offer EQT V completes its first investment by EQT V in Poland and the largest public-to-private transaction in Poland ever. The offer values HTL-Strefa’s equity at PLN 886 million (EUR 210 million) and the total value of the shares tendered exceeds PLN 850 million (over EUR 200 million).

“We are very pleased that our public tender offer was successful. Reaching over 97% of shares allows for delisting of the Company from the Warsaw Stock Exchange. We have followed HTL-Strefa for a long time and we believe that EQT V can help the company to continue developing in a successful way. We are certain that private ownership will be highly beneficial at this stage of HTL-Strefa’s development” – said Piotr Czapski, Partner at EQT Partners, advisor to EQT V.

Following the settlement of the acquisition of the tendered 97% shares of HTL-Strefa, EQT V will initiate proceedings regarding compulsory acquisition, or squeeze-out, of the outstanding shares in the Company.

The price offered for the shares was PLN 13.71 per share. This corresponded to a premium of 11.2% compared to the volume weighted average market price of the shares during the three month period directly preceding the date of announcement of this Offer of PLN 12.33; a premium of 12.7% compared to the volume weighted average market price of the shares during the six month period directly preceding the date of announcement of this Offer of PLN 12.17 and a 2.7% premium relative to the last closing price of PLN 13.35.

All conditions to completion of the offer have been fulfilled: a minimum of 80% of shares being tendered to EQT V and approvals from the relevant antitrust authorities in Austria and Germany.

“We are very pleased that just a year after opening our office in Warsaw, our first Polish investment was successfully completed. We plan to continue making investments in Central and Eastern Europe, such as the recent acquisition of the two cable TV operators Eurocom and CableTel in Bulgaria, as well as HTL-Strefa” – said Thomas von Koch, Senior Partner and Head of EQT Equity, EQT Partners’ buyout business line in Northern and Central and Eastern Europe.

“Being a growth oriented owner, we always invest in the development of the companies we acquire. EQT has a long track record of managing investments, which we will definitely use in supporting the development of HTL-Strefa. Our primary goal for HTL-Strefa is to strengthen its position as a leading global manufacturer and designer of blood microsampling devices and similar products. Together with the management and employees, we aim to accelerate the Company’s growth in existing and new markets, which will require substantial investments and resources” – said Piotr Czapski, Partner at EQT Partners.

About EQT
EQT is a group of leading private equity funds with operations in Northern Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, USA and Asia. EQT manages funds active within buy-outs, growth financing and infrastructure. EQT deploys a unique approach to investing, utilizing a vast network of industrialists to identify and develop companies. EQT’s model is based on clear corporate governance. The EQT funds mainly acquire or finance companies with considerable growth potential.

EQT acts as a catalyst for change in the companies that the funds invest in. The companies develop into market leaders through genuine and sustainable industrial and operational improvements. EQT has raised approximately EUR 13 billion in 12 funds, which have invested approximately EUR 7 billion in some 70 companies. EQT owned companies employ more than 500,000 employees.

Since EQT Equity´s first acquisition in 1995, the average revenue growth in its portfolio companies has been 13% annually, the number of employees has increased by 12% annually and earnings by 20% annually. More than 90% of the historic value creation in the 31 fully exited companies is attributable to growth, strategic repositioning and increased earnings.

EQT has a long track-record of successful investments in the healthcare sector including previous investments in companies such as Aleris, CaridianBCT, Dako, HemoCue, Gambro and Sirona. The most similar and adequate to the HTL-Strefa investment is EQT´s successful investment in HemoCue, the world's leading manufacturer of diagnosis-examination apparatus.

EQT Partners AB is advisor to all EQT funds and has more than 100 investment professionals with an extensive industrial and financial competence. EQT Partners AB has offices in Warsaw, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Munich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Zurich, London and New York. EQT Partners Warsaw office covers the CEE region.

For more information please visit www.eqt.pl

HTL-Strefa
Based in Ozorków, Poland, HTL-Strefa S.A. is a world leading manufacturer of lancets for capillary blood sampling. The company operates two business lines: Safety Lancets, used to obtain capillary blood samples for various diagnostic purposes and Personal Lancets, used for self-blood glucose monitoring. HTL-Strefa was listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in November 2006 and has 800 employees and two facilities in Ozorków and Łęczyca, Poland. In 2008, the company sold over 1.5bn lancets and reported revenues of PLN 143m (EUR 40m), representing 89% growth over the previous year.

For more information please visit www.htl-strefa.pl