Main Content

ATS Acquires Electrical Controls Firm to Increase European Capabilities, Growth Potential

December 02, 2002 | Acquisitions
TSX: ATA

CAMBRIDGE, ON, Dec. 2 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. today announced it is acquiring an electrical controls company in Munich, Germany as part of its strategy to increase its capabilities in Europe and gain control over an important technology.

The acquisition of Magnet GmbH - for approximately $3 million - will close in December. A profitable, privately-held company, Magnet provides a range of control technology, including electrical controls design, controls programming, electrical wiring and the supply of test systems.

"From a strategic perspective, the acquisition enables ATS to gain complete control over the quality, cost and delivery of this important element of every automation system," said Klaus Woerner, ATS President and Chief Executive Officer. "From a capabilities perspective, the expertise required to build this technology is in short supply in Europe so the purchase allows us to capture a scarce resource and bring it totally in house. It also reduces ATS Munich's dependency on outsourcing and allows us to improve our profit margin potential going forward."

Magnet and its 10 skilled employees will be amalgamated with ATS Munich. Mr. Woerner said he expects the integration will be rapid, since "Magnet is extremely familiar with our technology, with our customer-focused approach and has been a qualified supplier to ATS Munich for many years."

Mr. Woerner added that "this is just the latest example of our long-standing strategy of making tuck-under acquisitions in various important regions of the world that enable us to round out our turn-key capabilities to better serve customers and shareholders."

In the last five fiscal years, ATS has generated approximately $319 million in automation systems revenue in Europe.

Corporate Description
ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (www.atsautomation.com) is the industry's leading designer and producer of turn-key automated manufacturing and test systems, which are used primarily by multinational corporations operating in a variety of industries including: automotive, computer/electronics, healthcare, and consumer products. The Company also makes precision components and sub-assemblies using its own custom-built manufacturing systems, process knowledge and automation technology. Through Photowatt International S.A., and Spheral Solar Power Inc., ATS is an emerging leader in the rapidly growing market for solar energy cells and modules. ATS employs approximately 3,200 people at 27 facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Company's shares are traded on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.

Certain forward looking statements are made in this news release, including statements regarding possible future business. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, continued acceptance of ATS's products, technologies, customer requirements and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS's periodic reports filed with Canadian regulatory authorities.

%SEDAR: 00002017E

For further information:
Ron Jutras, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(519) 653 6500