Canadian automation company ATS to acquire global food and beverage equipment supplier CFT Group

CANADA – ATS Automation Tooling Systems (ATS), a Canadian automation company has agreed to acquire global food and beverage equipment supplier CFT Group, for a total enterprise value of €166 million (about US$ 201.19 million).

CFT which is based in Italy designs and produces turn-key machines and systems for the food and beverage sector.

The company which was established in 1945 serves its global customer base through its portfolio of brands and eight facilities in Italy, Spain, Germany and Ukraine.

With 140 patents, the company is a technology leader in the attractive fresh produce sorting, processing, and packaging niches.

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In 2019, the company generated revenue of US$307.82 million with approximately 40% coming from Europe, 23% from North America and the remainder from other regions.

Following completion of the tender offer, CFT will continue to operate through its established operational facilities and headquarters that ATS intends to maintain in Italy.

“This is a highly strategic transaction that will allow us to establish a broader growth platform for ATS in the regulated food and beverage equipment market,” said Andrew Hider, CEO of ATS.

Hidler further noted that having CFT under its wings will enables ATS  to capture more of the value chain “in a vertical we covet for its stability and growth, and complements our recent Marco acquisition.”

Roberto Catelli, representative of the major shareholders of CFT, said that they were very pleased to support the transaction as it “will create both opportunity and value for CFT, its customers and employees in the years ahead.”

ATS expects to achieve approximately US$8.49 million in annual cost synergies within three years of closing, including elimination of CFT’s public company costs, supply chain savings, and cost structure optimization.

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The Canadian company also expects revenue synergies to generate approximately US$8.49 million of EBITDA within three years from joint product development, cross-selling of complementary customer solutions and aftermarket initiatives.

Subject to regulatory authorities, the transaction is estimated to close in the first quarter of 2021.

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