Hardinge Inc. Sells Swiss Workholding Business
ELMIRA, N.Y. – Hardinge Inc. (Nasdaq:HDNG), a leading international provider of advanced metal-cutting solutions, announced today the sale of its Swiss Forkardt workholding operations for initial consideration of approximately $5.9 million, net of cash remaining with the business. After a comprehensive sales process, the successful bidder was a private group that was led by management of the Swiss Forkardt business.
Richard L. Simons, Chairman, President Chief Executive Officer of Hardinge Inc., commented, "We have contemplated the sale of this particular entity since we acquired the global Forkardt operations in May. Forkardt Switzerland has historically had a concentration of more than 50% of its sales with two grinding machine tool manufacturers that are competitors of our grinding machine brands. Through conversations with these customers, we recognized the sensitivity of the situation and their likelihood of identifying alternative sources for workholding products. Although not material to Hardinge as a whole, we concluded that selling this stand-alone entity to the management team allowed us to avoid the costs and issues of what likely would have become a deteriorating business and provide continuation of employment for the approximately 25 employees who work there."
The agreement includes a mutual two-year non-compete clause and the requirement that the Swiss operation discontinue use of the Forkardt brand after 12 months.
Hardinge continues to grow its workholding business through its operations in the U.S., France and Germany. The overall amount of sales and assets for the Swiss business are not material.
Mr. Simons concluded, "Hardinge is among the leading global workholding design and manufacturing companies. We expect to continue to expand this business both organically and through acquisitions. Strategically, we expect our sales of workholding, accessories and spare parts to reduce the impact of the highly cyclical nature of machine tool sales. These products, which typically have higher margins, tend to be more stable despite economic cycles."
Hardinge is a leading global designer and manufacturer of high precision, computer-controlled machine tool solutions developed for critical, hard to machine metal parts and of technologically advanced workholding accessories. The Company's strategy is to leverage its global brand strength to further penetrate global market opportunities where customers will benefit from the technologically advanced, high quality, reliable products Hardinge produces. With approximately 75% of its sales outside of North America, Hardinge serves the worldwide metal working market. Hardinge's machine tool and accessory solutions can also be found in a broad base of industries to include aerospace, agricultural, automotive, construction, consumer products, defense, energy, medical, technology and transportation.
Hardinge applies its engineering design and manufacturing expertise in high performance machining centers, high-end cylindrical and jig grinding machines, SUPER-PRECISION® and precision CNC lathes and technologically advanced workholding accessories. Hardinge has manufacturing operations in China, France, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Company regularly posts information on its website: http://www.hardinge.com
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