Lectra Announces Intention to Acquire Gerber Technology
Fortifying its role as an Industry 4.0 technology leader, Paris-based Lectra announced its memorandum of understanding to acquire the entire capital and voting rights of Tolland, Conn., integrated-software-and-hardware-solutions provider Gerber Technology. The Feb. 8 announcement outlined Lectra’s intention to use the Gerber acquisition to help its customers increase productivity and profitability.
In addition to its fashion-technology business, Gerber also serves the aerospace, construction, furniture, transportation, technical textiles, packaging, wind energy, and sign-and-graphics industries, which are complementary to Lectra’s apparel, automotive and furniture segments. Gerber Technology Chief Executive Officer Mohit Uberoi welcomed the plan to blend Lectra’s innovation with his company’s digital legacy, which began in 1967 when H. Joseph Gerber unveiled the GerberCutter System 70, an advancement that paved the way for technological automation in apparel.
Upon the deal’s closing, Uberoi would remain as special adviser to Lectra Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Harari until the end of 2021.
“It has been an honor to lead the transformation of Gerber Technology and create an efficient, comprehensive platform that enables our customers’ digital-transformation initiatives,” Uberoi said in a statement. “Gerber Technology and Lectra share a long history of innovation and excellent customer service that, brought together, will create an even stronger company that provides best-in-class technology solutions and services to our customers globally.”
For Lectra, the proposed acquisition would afford opportunities to expand upon its Industry 4.0 innovations, which comprise software, equipment, data and services that support brands, manufacturers and retailers as they develop, produce and market products. Through blending Gerber’s proprietary technologies and digital prowess with Lectra’s expertise, the result would be enhanced resources that afford a more-seamless approach to development and production during a time when the ability to shift quickly to meet consumer demand is crucial to business survival.
“Today is a historic day for our companies that will bring tremendous opportunities for future growth. We will have investments in innovation and technological capabilities that will be highly beneficial to the industry. They will allow us to create long-term value for our customers and our shareholders,” Harari said in a statement. “We’re delighted to welcome Gerber Technology’s group of talented professionals to the Lectra team. Unifying the two teams will showcase the strength of our fantastic employees. Together, we will be able to grow and expand the services we provide to our customers and help them accelerate their digital transformation.”
Upon completion of the acquisition, all outstanding shares of Gerber Technology would be acquired by Lectra on a cash-free and debt-free basis through an upfront payment of €175 million, or more than $210.8 million USD, through a combination of cash and debt. These terms are in addition to 5 million newly issued Lectra shares to AIPCF VI LG Funding, LP, an affiliate of Gerber Technology’s parent company, American Industrial Partners, its sole shareholder. Lectra expects to invite its shareholders to vote on the issuance of 5 million new Lectra shares to AIPCF VI LG during a shareholder’s meeting scheduled to be held April 30. Additional information will be made available in a report prior to the meeting.
The terms included within the proposed Lectra–Gerber Technology acquisition deal would represent about €300 million, or nearly $361.5 million USD based on Lectra’s Feb. 5 closing share price. In 2020, revenues for Gerber Technology totaled nearly $200 million. Upon completion of the deal, ownership of c. 14.6 percent of Lectra shares would be Harari’s, while AIPCF VI LG would own c. 13.3 percent.
An Analyst Conference meeting hosted by Lectra management to discuss the transaction is scheduled to be webcast on Feb. 11 at 8:30 a.m. CET from Paris.