Abacus expands in France - Embedded.com

Abacus expands in France

LONDON — Abacus Group plc is expanding its presence in France with the acquisition of the Axess Technology Group and its wholly owned subsidiary RDI.

Axess Technology Group is a privately owned electronic distributor based on the outskirts of Paris and specialises in display and wireless communication products and components. RDI was acquired by Axess in January 2005 and is a distributor of passive electronic components and is based in another facility, also on the outskirts of Paris.

Abacus is paying €23million, which will be provided by the immediate issue of €6milllion worth of new Abacus shares (2.85million shares at an average price of £1.4635 per share), and €10million in cash, followed by a further €3.5million in cash on April 1, 2007 and €3.5million in cash on April 1, 2008.

The acuquisition is also seen as strengthening the management of the Abacus-Trident display business. Patrick Journo, founder and chief executive of Axess, will join the Board of Abacus Group. He and the General Manager of RDI will remain with the enlarged Abacus Group under the terms of their existing service contracts.

To the year ended Decdember 2004 Axess Technology Group had gross assets of €12.6million, net assets of €6.1million and a profit before tax of €2.6million. RDI had been acquired for €4.1million cash consideration and at that date had gross assets of €8.5million, net assets of €5.8million and profit before tax of €0.1million for 2004.

Martin Kent, CEO of Abacus Group, said, “The fit of Axess Group with Abacus is remarkable. This acquisition will provide Abacus with real critical mass in France and will also add significantly to the displays capability of the Group. It represents further evidence of the Board's determination to be a major EU electronic component distributor.”

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