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CML & Associates

Middelbeers, 1st December 2000 The Swedish company, Atle AB, has announced the acquisition of HEK International Group B.V. from ThyssenKrupp AG.
"The acquisition of HEK International by Atle ends 6 months of speculation, during which time our employees have been extremely loyal. With the acquisition by Atle, there will be no reduction in manufacturing capacity or employees. In fact, the contrary. The current expansion of our facilities at Middelbeers will continue and the number of employees could, in fact, increase in the next year," said Mr Van Hek, Managing Director of HEK International Group B.V.

HEK, established in the early 60’s, is the manufacturer of mastclimbing workplatforms as well as a manufacturer of rack and pinion transport platforms and material/personnel hoists.

The World’s Largest Source

Atle, which already owns Alimak, the manufacturer of rack and pinion hoists and also a producer of mastclimbing workplatforms and other equipment, has also announced its intention to bring HEK and Alimak together, as equal partners, under one holding company. This creates the world’s largest source of rack and pinion access solutions for construction, building, industrial and other applications.

The combined strengths of the two companies creates a new force in the vertical access market with wide ranges of mastclimbing workplatforms, transport platforms, material hoists and material/personnel hoists as well as supporting services.

Atle does not rule out further acquisitions which would be a natural extension of the existing product ranges. "It is our objective to be a public listed company within a few years. To do this, we have to grow the new company quickly through organic growth and by acquisitions; the new company will have to be extremely focused and resources are made available for R&D, product development and marketing. To reach our objectives, we will, as appropriate, look to acquire companies large and small that strengthen the new company’s position as a total supplier, in the area of vertical access and personnel-material transport, better able to satisfy industry needs."

Mr Ernst Van Hek, Managing Director of HEK International Group B.V. and Mr. Krister Kempainen, Managing Director of Alimak AB will be appointed to the Management Team of the new holding company.

Mr. Van Hek said "Under the new structure, both Alimak and HEK will maintain their established identities and will continue production and supply of equipment, parts and support services for all their customers. However, the bringing together of two well established companies under one holding company will deliver significant benefits to customers around the world."

"Although each company will be independent, there will be a natural exchange of technology. We will work together on research and development and, because of the high degree of synergy between the two companies, can source components and materials more economically. This will enable both companies to be more competitive with the best engineered products and technical solution."

In making the announcement, Mr. Werner, Director of Atle, said that each company will retain its existing structure and continue marketing respective products and technical support services through established sales and rental networks. HEK International head office will remain at Middelbeers in the Netherlands and Alimak’s in Skellefteå, Sweden.

Atle - key facts

Atle is a growth company that intends to be 2-3 times its current size in 5 years’ time. Atle is a private equity player, investing in unlisted companies, participating actively in their development, and after a few years, finding them a suitable new home - through an exit - thereby realising value growth.
Since 1993, the Atle group’s earnings have risen progressively, from SEK 373 m to SEK 1,025 m in 1999.

Atle maintains a high transaction tempo, acquiring over 20 enterprises across all sectors each year. Since inception in 1992, Atle has invested in approximately 200 businesses and exited from over 100. Its annual return from these exits has exceeded 50%. 43% of its holdings, 26% of invested capital, are in IT and other technology enterprises.
Atle is quoted on the Stockholm Stock Exchange’s A List and has just over 17,000 shareholders

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