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Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. and the shareholders of VIA optronics GmbH (VIA) announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which IMI will acquire a 76 percent stake in VIA, a leading optical bonding and display solutions provider, for EUR 47.4 million. Company founder Jürgen Eichner will retain a 24 percent ownership and continue to lead VIA as Managing Director, reporting to Arthur R. Tan, IMI’s chief executive officer. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to IMI’s earnings per share starting 2017. The transaction, which will be financed through debt, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016.
Alpina Partners is selling all of its 55% shareholding as part of the transaction. Alpina Partners has been a shareholder in the company since June 2010.
Optical bonding is a technology that significantly enhances the visibility and performance of display systems, especially for outdoor use. The technology also enhances the quality, throughput and efficiency of the display system integration process. VIA’s bonding material and intellectual property on its optical bonding processes, which can enable high yield bonding for curved, plastic, 3D and large size applications, puts VIA in a strong position to address the growing demand for displays in automotive and industrial outdoor applications. VIA’s experience in high reliability markets also matches IMI’s existing offerings in the automotive, industrial and medical markets.
“This transaction represents a unique opportunity to accelerate IMI’s growth and broaden VIA’s opportunities by leveraging off of IMI’s global footprint and resources,” Tan said. Together, IMI and VIA will be best positioned to revolutionize the way the world experiences vision and touch on displays. We believe the acquisition will allow IMI to strengthen its partnerships with customers by offering complementary automotive camera and display monitor solutions for advanced driver assistance systems. We look forward to further developing and utilizing the synergies between the two companies.”
“We announce today an exciting next chapter for VIA, as we have found the perfect strategic partner that is aligned with our values and growth ambitions,” Eichner said. “Once combined, we will have the scale to introduce our patented technology into automotive camera monitor systems for increased safety and effectivity. IMI has a great cultural fit with our organization and I am excited for our employees to benefit from the long-term prospects of being part of IMI.”
VIA is a leading company in sunlight readable interactive display solutions including touch screens. Starting with industrial and high reliability products, the company has conquered all market segments as a leading provider for optical bonding, a key technology to lower reflections thus enabling sunlight readability and increasing robustness, which is mandatory to allow thinner and lighter portable display solutions. VIA has developed proprietary material for optical bonding and holds valuable intellectual property for bonding processes and equipment resulting in very high production yields. VIA was established in 2005 and has approximately 290 employees across four countries. Together with its headquarters in Schwarzenbruck, Germany, VIA has research facilities and manufacturing sites in Mörsdorf, Germany and Suzhou, China, and sales offices in Florida and Taipei.
About Alpina Partners
Alpina Partners is a London and Munich based investment firm with over €300 million in assets under management. Alpina focuses on European growth companies with a strong technical USP.
Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI), a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, is among the top 50 electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers in the world based on the latest list of Manufacturing Market Insider based on EMS-related revenues. In the automotive segment, it is the 6th largest EMS provider in the world per New Venture Research. IMI specializes in durable electronics for long-product life cycle segments such as automotive and industrial electronics. For the automotive segment, IMI delivers customized solutions for safety and security, among others. It supplies cameras that are integral technology to the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). For the industrial segment, it manufactures security and access control devices, power modules, and building automation, among others. From its manufacturing plants in the United States, Mexico, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, and the Philippines, IMI provides engineering, manufacturing, and support and fulfillment capabilities to diverse industries globally.