BUSINESS Prysmian sets sights on other M&A targets after General Cable deal


Prysmian sets sights on other M&A targets after General Cable deal

By Francesca Landini | Reuters

04:03, December 06, 2017

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Italian cable maker Prysmian is looking at three more M&A targets, its CEO Valerio Battista said on Tuesday, the day after announcing a $3 billion deal to buy US rival General Cable.

The targets are mid-sized groups, one based in Asia, one in North America and one with a worldwide presence, Battista said, adding that a deal could be completed in the coming months.

“We have sown a lot of seeds and the acquisition of General Cable marks the completion of this process, which has also created other buds that could flourish in the coming months,” Battista told a news conference at its Milan headquarters.

Prysmian has been in contact with Nokia’s Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for a potential acquisition, Battista said, without clarifying whether that company was one of the Italian group’s three possible targets.

He made no further comment on possible M&A targets, but Prysmian Chief Financial Officer Pier Francesco Facchini told the same news conference: “The additional targets are active in niches, either geographical or product niches.”

On Monday the world’s biggest cable maker announced a deal to acquire Kentucky-based General Cable to create a group with combined sales of more than 11 billion euros and adjusted core earnings (EBITDA) of about 930 million euros.

Commenting on that acquisition, Battista said it had allowed Prysmian to strengthen its “worldwide leadership”.

Battista said the acquisition also gave Prysmian more exposure to the US market and blocked the expansion of other rivals, including Chinese groups, which he said could create a production platform in Europe by taking control of the European plants of General Cable.

Sources told Reuters Prysmian had been competing with France’s Nexans, Denmark NKT and China’s Hengtong Optic-Electric in the final negotiations for its US rival.

To trump other offers, Prysmian agreed to pay a premium of more than 80 percent to General Cable’s price last July when the US company started a strategic review to identify a possible merger partner.

“The acquisition was a big opportunity and we grabbed it gladly... We paid what we had to pay for it,” Battista said responding to criticism that the group had paid a hefty premium for General Cable.

Facchini said the net present value of the industrial synergies expected from the acquisition totaled around 1.2 billion euros.

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