Standex buys German electronics firm

Standex International Corp. has acquired Meder Electronic Group, a German company that designs switches, relays and sensors, for more than $40 million in cash.The acquisition would broaden the Salem-based company’s product line and markets – both geographically and industrial – though there appears to be some overlap. The company’s electronics division also makes switches.Standex would not disclose the terms of the deal, but a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that the aggregate purchase price would be just over 33 million euros, which translates into about $40.5 million. The deal includes a three-year escrow of 15 percent (about $6 million) and a one-year employment contract with Meder’s managing director and CEO, Bernhard Meder, who founded the company in 1985. Terms of that contract have not yet been disclosed.The SEC filing did not detail where Standex will get the cash. At the end of last quarter the company reported its cash and equivalents at $32 million. The company also had a total of $258 million in stockholder equity and earned $9.1 million that quarter – for a total of $17 million fiscal year to date. In 2011, it earned $25.3 million.As a whole, Standex is the much larger company, with some $630 million in sales in fiscal 2011, compared to Meder, which reported $56 million in sales for 2011. The company’s Standex Electronics unit had $35 million in revenue during the first three quarters of fiscal 2012.According to Standex, about 40 percent of Meder’s sales are in Germany, and approximately 85 percent of Standex Electronics market is in North America. Meder has been selling its equipment to the measurement and household markets, while Standex’s main markets are medical, military and aerospace.”We are enthusiastic about the synergistic fit and the growth prospects for the combined business,” said Roger Fix, Standex CEO. “The opportunities for cross-selling are exciting and include the introduction of Standex’s magnetic products into the European market and accelerating sales of Meder’s reed switch and reed relays into the North America market.” He said the acquisition also will give Standex the opportunity “to accelerate sales growth in China and Asia Pacific.”Meder has a manufacturing facility in Wareham, Mass. While Standex is headquartered in Salem, its electronics division is based in Cincinnati, with facilities in Arizona, Ontario, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Meder, based in Singen, Germany, also has manufacturing facilities in China (Shanghai).Calls to Standex about whether there will be any staffing changes as a result of the merger were not returned by deadline. – BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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