VARTA AG

  • WKN: A0TGJ5
  • ISIN: DE000A0TGJ55
  • Land: Deutschland

Nachricht vom 03.11.2016 | 08:00

VARTA AG* prepares for Initial Public Offering

DGAP-News: VARTA AG / Key word(s): IPO

2016-11-03 / 08:00
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA OR JAPAN.

CORPORATE NEWS

VARTA AG* prepares for Initial Public Offering

- VARTA AG together with its operating subsidiaries - experts in microbatteries and energy storage solutions - is planning an Initial Public Offering on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange to capitalize on underlying megatrends in its key markets.

- The megatrends of an aging global population, increasing technological connectivity and miniaturization as well as growing interest in green technology and renewable energy present significant growth potential in the microbattery and energy storage markets.

- VARTA AG's subsidiary VARTA Microbattery GmbH is well positioned to maintain its position as one of the two largest worldwide producers and marketers of hearing aid microbatteries based on the trusted power one brand for audiologists and end-consumers, in addition to providing white label products for leading hearing aid manufacturers and battery brands.

- Well positioned to replicate the success story of the healthcare product group in new, and growing microbattery markets for wireless headsets.

- VARTA AG's subsidiary VARTA Storage GmbH is pursuing the opportunity from the growing market in the energy storage solutions sector to offer products that efficiently store renewable energy as well as customized battery storage systems for the expanding market for a mobile power supply.

- Extensive R&D expertise and technological partnerships, including scaled production expertise, ensure that the Group remains a competitive innovation leader.

- Attractive financial profile with a reported EBITDA margin of 18.5% in the current core segment of microbatteries in the first nine months 2016, and 2013-2015 total revenue CAGR of 10.7% up to sales of EUR 195.1 million in 2015 (combined financial statements as if the Group already existed since 2013).

- VARTA AG is aiming to raise primary gross proceeds of up to EUR 200 million for internal smart automation investments and selective acquisitions in the Energy Storage Solutions segment.

Ellwangen, November 3, 2016. VARTA AG, together with its primary operating subsidiaries VARTA Microbattery GmbH and VARTA Storage GmbH (and together with their respective subsidiaries, the "Group"), is planning an Initial Public Offering on the Regulated Market (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The Group was newly founded in 2016 and has its headquarters in Ellwangen, Germany. It produces and markets through its operating subsidiaries microbatteries - where it ranks as one of the two largest worldwide manufacturers and marketers of hearing aid microbatteries by volume (marketed via the brand power one and white label) - and energy storage solutions for a variety of applications and end markets.

An expert in microbatteries and energy storage solutions
In the Microbatteries segment, the Group focuses on the production of rechargeable and non-rechargeable hearing aid microbatteries (marketed via the brand power one and white label) and microbatteries for entertainment electronics and industrial applications, which include, in particular, wireless premium headsets. In addition, the microbatteries are used by industrial and original equipment manufacturers ("OEM"). Typical applications include heat cost allocators and back-up batteries for handheld scanners or point of sales terminals.

In the Energy Storage Solutions segment, the Group focuses on the development, system integration and installation of stationary lithium-ion energy storage systems for residential and commercial customers. The Group leverages third party supply agreements for battery cells in this segment, which it does not produce itself. Furthermore, the Power Pack Solutions product group, an important product offering in this business segment, focuses on customized battery storage systems for OEM customers in various end markets. These include portable industrial applications and use in communications and medical applications and humanoid robotics.

The Group's operating subsidiaries currently operate four production and assembly facilities in Europe and Asia, as well as various distribution centers to supply to customers in more than 75 countries around the world.

Initial Public Offering proceeds to fund growth investments and acquisitions
100% of the shares of VARTA AG are currently held by Montana Tech Components AG (MTC), an industrial technology group based in Switzerland. The expected gross proceeds of up to EUR 200 million from the issuance of new shares as part of the planned Initial Public Offering will be used for internal investments in a new large-scale, automated battery assembly plant for Power Pack Solutions as well as for select acquisitions in the Energy Storage Solutions segment. In addition, an overallotment option comprising 15% of the base offering will be made available by MTC. The offering will consist of a public offering in Germany and Austria as well as private placements in certain other jurisdictions outside of Germany and Austria.

A leading player in the growing hearing aid microbattery market segment
The Group is a leading player in the hearing aid microbatteries market. In 2015, the operative subsidiary VARTA Microbattery GmbH sold more than 900 million microbatteries, predominantly comprising power one hearing aid batteries. In the hearing aid device end market, global sales increased by 4-5% annually over the past five years. While 9.4 million hearing aids were sold in 2010, this number increased to 12 million in 2015. Continuous growth of 5% per year is forecasted from 2015 to 2020 based on market participants. The hearing aid market growth is currently driven by three main trends:

Firstly, the aging of the growing world population - the share of over 65-year olds is projected to nearly double to up to 16.7% by 2050 (2016: 8.5%) - will lead to higher demand for hearing aids. Secondly, the relatively low number of hearing aid users among hearing-impaired people today provides an opportunity for higher market penetration and additional growth. In developed markets, penetration is only 20-25%, while emerging markets are even less penetrated. And thirdly, experts also expect new hearing aid functions, such as streaming, to further stimulate the demand for hearing aid batteries because these additional features will increase energy demand and, in turn, battery consumption.

Herbert Schein, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VARTA AG, sees the planned Initial Public Offering as a unique opportunity to drive the Group's further growth: "We are well prepared to benefit from the growing microbatteries markets and the current global megatrends across our business segments by leveraging our strong market position and technological expertise. Over the last three years, VARTA Microbattery GmbH has seen significant growth in sales. Over the same period, the EBITDA margin in the Microbatteries segment rose to 18.5%. High quality, reliability and innovative technology are decisive factors for our strong market position. As a result, we see considerable future growth opportunities, especially in the hearing aid and wireless headset battery markets. We expect the growing demand in these areas to have a positive effect on our business performance."

A technology expert with a high degree of innovation
The Group's portfolio of microbatteries and energy storage solutions is based on continuous investments in research and development, driving ongoing development of microbatteries with increasing energy density and smaller size as well as new battery applications. Besides extensive R&D expertise, technology partnerships with renowned universities and strong industrial research partners, including a joint venture with Volkswagen AG and the research company VARTA Micro Innovation GmbH in Graz, Austria, ensure the Group's innovativeness.

"As recognized experts in the microbattery industry, we have demonstrated our innovative ability through our meticulous research work, especially through our product improvements in the field of zinc-air batteries and our rechargeable lithium-ion button cell technology. Our strength is not only successfully bringing innovations to market-ready products with our technological expertise, but also achieving cost-efficient mass production while maintaining high quality. We will continue to strive to develop high-performance technologies for microbatteries and individual energy storage solutions for our target markets in the future. Our goal is to optimize our production processes while, at the same time, increasing our profitability," CEO Herbert Schein comments.

Leveraging success in healthcare in yet other growth markets
As a leading healthcare microbattery producer, the Group expects to also benefit from sustained growth trends in the entertainment and industrial sectors. The entertainment market is driven by favorable technology trends like wireless connectivity, miniaturization, battery performance and the proliferation of devices. The demand for cells for in-ear headsets (stereo and high-end mono) is expected to increase from 15 million cells in 2015 to 83 million cells in 2020, corresponding to a CAGR of 41%. In addition, hearables are expected to be the fastest growing wearable device market, growing to approximately USD 18 billion by 2020.

The Group believes it is well positioned to capture this growth due to microbatteries being a critical component of the performance of such products and the Group's focus on high-end, miniature stereo headphones that require the highest energy density to allow maximum battery life and smallest size.

Furthermore, renewable energy is another growth market for the Group. In light of rising electricity prices, political regulations and growing ecological awareness, renewable forms of energy and their storage are becoming increasingly important. The worldwide installed capacity of photovoltaic plants is projected to increase at an average annual growth rate of 22% to 613 GW by 2020 (2015: 227 GW). The Group, with its decentralized energy storage solutions, expects to benefit from this development through its residential energy storage systems that allow VARTA Storage GmbH to leverage the Group's successful technologies for home energy storage solutions for residential customers. Furthermore, the Group believes it will benefit from the strong brand recognition among private consumers. The Group started to enforce marketing of its energy storage system VARTA element to the mass market in mid-2016 in order to address the significant growth potential of this market.

In addition, the Group offers OEM customers an all-round service package in the attractive niche market of power packs with services ranging from consulting to the final assembly of customized storage solutions. Over the last three years, VARTA Storage GmbH increased sales in this business segment by an average of 12.1% per year.

Profitable company growth with strong margins
On the basis of the combined financial statements (consideration as if the Group existed already since 2013), the Group generated sales of EUR 195.1 million in fiscal year 2015. Since 2013, the average annual growth rate (CAGR) has been approximately 10.7%. The reported EBITDA margin was 15.9% in 2015. The reported EBITDA margin in the Microbatteries segment was 18.5% in 2015, while the adjusted EBITDA margin at Group level was 15.1% in 2015.

The Group generated sales of EUR 160.8 million in the first nine months of 2016, an increase of 9.8% compared to the respective period during the previous year, led by strong growth in the Microbatteries segment (11.6%) and, in particular, the Entertainment & Industrial product group (20.4%). The reported EBITDA margin in the Microbatteries segment in the first nine months of 2016 was 18.5% versus 20.4% in the year earlier period, reflecting investment in new product groups as well as additional new rent costs of EUR 1.2 million in the first nine months of 2016, due to a sale and leaseback transaction at the end of 2015.

Jefferies International Limited and UniCredit Bank AG are acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners for the Initial Public Offering. HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG is also acting as a Joint Bookrunner, while Erste Group Bank AG is acting as a Co-Lead Manager in connection with the Initial Public Offering.

Further information on VARTA AG, the business model of its operating subsidiaries and its management can be found on the Investor Relations website at www.varta-ag.com.

About VARTA AG*

As the parent company of the Group, VARTA AG is active in the business segments Microbatteries and Energy Storage Solutions through its primary operating subsidiaries VARTA Microbattery GmbH and VARTA Storage GmbH. As one of the two largest worldwide manufacturers of hearing aid microbatteries by volume, which are produced, sold and marketed via the brand power one as well as via white label for leading hearing aid manufacturers and battery brands, VARTA Microbattery GmbH is a pioneer in the microbattery sector. In addition, VARTA Microbattery GmbH strives to leverage its hearing aid microbattery expertise to the growth market of rechargeable microbatteries for consumer electronics and a variety of industrial applications. Through its subsidiary VARTA Storage GmbH, the Group also focuses on the design, system integration and assembly of stationary lithium-ion energy storage systems for residential households and customized battery storage systems for OEM customers. The Group's operating subsidiaries are currently active in more than 75 countries around the world with four production and assembly facilities in Europe and Asia, as well as distribution centers in Asia, Europe and the United States.


*VARTA AG and its primary operating subsidiaries, VARTA Microbattery GmbH and VARTA Storage GmbH, part of the Montana Tech Components Group, are not the sole successors of the former VARTA AG, having been split up into three parts in 2002, and, consequently, are not the sole owners of the VARTA trademarks. The two other independent successors of the former VARTA AG, Johnson Controls Hybrid and Recycling GmbH (previously VARTA Automotive GmbH and currently part of the Johnson Controls Group) and VARTA Consumer Batteries GmbH & Co. KGaA (currently part of the Spectrum Brands Group) continue to hold VARTA trademark rights for automotive and partly industrial batteries and consumer batteries, respectively.
 

Investor Relations Contact

cometis AG
Henryk Deter / Philipp Oksche
Phone: +49 (0)611 - 205855-35
Fax: +49 (0)611 - 205855-66
e-mail: oksche@cometis.de

Press contact at VARTA AG:
Corinna Hilss
Press Spokeswoman
Daimlerstraße 1
73479 Ellwangen
Germany
Phone: +49 (0)7961 - 921-221
e-mail: corinna.hilss@varta-ag.com
 

Disclaimer

This document and the information contained herein are for information purposes only and do not constitute a prospectus or an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities in the United States. Any securities referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or pursuant to an available exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Neither VARTA Aktiengesellschaft (the "Company") nor any of its shareholders intends to register any securities referred to herein in the United States.

Any offer will be made exclusively through and on the basis of a prospectus that must be published in Germany, as supplemented by additional information related to the offer outside of Germany. No money, securities, or other consideration is being solicited, and, if sent in response to the information contained herein, will not be accepted.

This document does not constitute an offer document or an offer of securities to the public in the U.K. to which section 85 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 of the U.K. applies and should not be considered as a recommendation that any person should subscribe for or purchase any securities as part of the Offer. This document is being communicated only to (i) persons who are outside the U.K.; (ii) persons who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (as amended) (the "Order") or (iii) high net worth companies, unincorporated associations and other bodies who fall within article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order (all such persons together being referred to as "Relevant Persons"). Any person who is not a Relevant Person must not act or rely on this communication or any of its contents. Any investment or investment activity to which this communication relates is available only to Relevant Persons and will be engaged in only with Relevant Persons. This document should not be published, reproduced, distributed or otherwise made available, in whole or in part, to any other person without the prior consent of the Company.

Jefferies International Limited, UniCredit Bank AG, HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG, Erste Group Bank AG and UniCredit Bank Austria AG are acting exclusively for the Company and no-one else in connection with the Offering. They will not regard any other person as their respective clients in relation to the Offering and will not be responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to their respective clients, nor for providing advice in relation to the Offering, the contents of this announcement or any transaction, arrangement or other matter referred to herein.

Jefferies International Limited is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. UniCredit Bank AG and HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG are authorized and regulated by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht and also supervised by the European Central Bank. Erste Group Bank AG and UniCredit Bank Austria AG are authorized and regulated by the European Central Bank (ECB) and by the Austrian Financial Market Authority.

This document contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the current views, expectations, assumptions and information of the management of the Company. Forward-looking statements should not be construed as a promise of future results and developments and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those described in such statements due to, among other things, changes in the general economic and competitive environment, risks associated with capital markets, currency exchange rate fluctuations, changes in international and national laws and regulations, in particular with respect to tax laws and regulations, affecting the Company, and other factors. The Company does not assume any obligations to update any forward-looking statements.




2016-11-03 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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