Major Stakeholder Divests from Jenoptik; Shares Snapped up by New Investors
JENA, Germany — ECE Industrial Holdings GmbH has sold its approximately 10.48 percent stake in Jenoptik AG.
Jenoptik said the roughly 6 million shares were purchased by other investors March 31 at a price of €11.90 per share – for a total of more than €70 million. The transactions were executed through an accelerated book-building process facilitated by UniCredit Bank AG.
With a nominal capital of 57.2 million shares, Jenoptik’s free float will increase from 75 percent to 89 percent. The higher free float should improve tradability, raising Jenoptik's appeal to institutional investors, the company said.
ECE Industrial Holdings is majority-owned by Humer Privatstiftung, a private foundation in Austria. It has owned the shares in Jenoptik since 2007. Some 935,000 Jenoptik shares held by members of the Humer family are not part of the placement.
Jenoptik CEO Michael Mertin said ECE and the Humer family “actively supported Jenoptik on its path to becoming a profitable technology group with international orientation.”
“With the strategic reorientation of the group during the past years, we have created the prerequisites for our future profitable growth,” Mertin said. “Now we are looking forward to new investors, with whom our new [CFO] Hans-Dieter Schumacher and myself may continue on the course of success and make progress on our process of internationalization.”
Heinrich Reimitz, member of the management of ECE, said the organization sold its shares in order to make intensive investments in its core real estate business.
“In the years of our investment,” Reimitz said, “Jenoptik consistently reduced its net debt, streamlined its product and investment portfolio as well as complemented and strengthened it through corporate acquisitions. The annual profit has more than doubled since 2008.”
Meanwhile, Thüringer Industrial Holdings GmbH & Co. KG of Erfurt, which holds about 11 percent of Jenoptik’s stock, said it plans to remain invested in the company.
Jenoptik produces laser, optical and imaging systems for semiconductor equipment manufacturing, as well as the automotive, medical technology, defense and security and aviation industries. The company generated revenue of €590 million in 2014.