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Media release – May 26, 2003, 9:00 AM
Balance sheet media conference of the Mikron Technology Group
Mikron: balance sheet restructuring solution
with Swiss industrial investors
The Mikron Technology Group, active in the “Production Equipment” and
“Components” market segments reports on 2002’s financial statement and
the proposal to restructure the balance sheet.
During the business year of 2002, maintaining liquidity took top priority.
Extraordinary and non-recurring costs surpassing CHF 100 million resulted
in a loss of CHF 141.8 million. The equity ratio decreased to 1.4%, while net
liabilities improved slightly from CHF 356 million to CHF 322 million.
Compared to last year’s adjusted figures, incoming orders remained at
about the same level with CHF 442.6 million, and net revenue decreased by
15% to CHF 414.7 million. The projected slight increase in sales and a
positive operating result for 2003 have been confirmed by the first quarter’s
The proposed balance sheet restructuring will end a period of uncertainty
Page 2 of 7
Business Year 2002: extraordinary costs cause most of the CHF
141.8 million loss
First quarter 2003: breakeven point reached
Extraordinary or non-recurrent costs surpassing CHF 100 million
The Mikron Group concluded 2002 with a loss of CHF 141.8 million (previous
year: –127.3 million). It contains extraordinary and non-recurring costs of CHF
104.5 million, CHF 42.9 million value reassessments on non-tangible assets, CHF
26.8 million expenditures for securing the financing and restructuring of the
balance sheet, as well as CHF 34.8 million in operating losses, depreciation and
provisions for activities that were terminated either in 2002 or at the beginning of
2003 primarily for reasons of optimizing cash.
The earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (Ebita) were at CHF –60.6
million (previous year: CHF –15.8 million), Ebita before special events were CHF
–5.9 million (previous year: CHF 2.6 million). Ebitda attained CHF –6.3 (previous
year: 50.2 million) and CHF +29.1 million (previous year: CHF 32.6 million)
respectively, excluding extraordinary items. The main reason for the poorer
operating result, excluding extraordinary items, is the collapse in volume in the
Machining Technology division due to the market and sales efforts leading to an
aggravation of the operating result for the Group by CHF 25 million, which could
not be entirely compensated by the improvements made in other divisions.
The intense focus on liquidity resulted in a free cash flow of CHF 22.4 million
(previous year: CHF –120.3 million).
Page 3 of 7
Influenced by market conditions on the one hand and the insecurity in connection
with the selling effort on the other, the Machining Technology division declined
substantially. Orders in the Components segment, excluding orders for production
equipment passed on internally, remained fairly constant.
Net sales attainted CHF 414,7 million. Compared to the previous year (CHF 607.5
million), this was a decrease of 32%. Adjusted for the above-mentioned effect, the
decrease was 15%. Thanks to improved market conditions and market position in
the CD/DVD market, Axxicon Mould Technology was able to improve. The other
divisions fell back. Reasons are low unfilled orders at the beginning of the year
and a difficult economic environment.
Equity capital decreased to 1.4%
The balance sheet total on December 31, 2002, decreased by CHF 170 million
when compared to the previous year. The reasons are the reduction in current
assets by CHF 60 million and the reduction of fixed assets by CHF 110 million
caused by the write-off on non-tangible assets, the sale of non-essential tangible
assets and depreciation in connection with reorganizing companies. Net financial
liabilities were reduced from CHF 356 million to CHF 322 million.
Because the credit line granted by the bank syndicate and private placement
expired by the end of April 2003 and was only extended for a short time, they
have been reclassified from long-term to short-term liabilities. Equity reduced
itself to CHF 7.7 million or 1.4% of the balance sheet sum.
Page 4 of 7
Business year 2002, key figures for the Mikron Technology Group
(Jan 1 – Dec 31)
million CHF 2002 2001 2001 % %
Orders 442.6 443 501.2 0 –12
Production Equipment 291.5 293 319.8 –1 –9
Components 167.9 153 184.5 +10 –9
Net sales 414.7 485 607.5 –15 –32
Production Equipment 276.8 334 427.2 –17 –35
Components 140.9 157 186.1 –10 –24
Ebitda –6.3 – 50.2 – –113
Production Equipment 17.2 – 42.4 – –59
Components 0.4 – 18.8 – –98
Ebita –60.6 – –15.8 – –284
Production Equipment –7.8 – 23.1 – –94
Components –26.3 – –26.7 – –99
–141.8 – –127.3 – –11.4
Cash flow 14.9 – –5.0 – +398
Unfilled orders 144.9 116 152.2 25 –5
Production Equipment 120.3 106 124.6 13 –4
Components 24.6 10 27.6 380 –11
Page 5 of 7
Balance sheet restructuring with the help of Swiss investors – the
shareholders have the last word
As a consequence of the slump in the infocom market in February of 2001, Mikron
had to reduce overcapacities in the shortest of times. The appearance of the
balance sheet and the ratio of interest-bearing debt to earning power significantly
deteriorated. At the end of 2001, the banks extended their credit until spring of
2003 under the condition that Mikron takes drastic measures to reduce debt. That
was to be achieved by selling the then very profitable Machining Technology
division. It was not possible to go through with the sale at agreeable terms, last
but not least because of the economic slump. The selling effort was terminated in
fall of 2002. As already mentioned, a restructuring of the balance sheet became
The Board of Directors’ proposal to the General Meeting on June 18, 2003,
concerning restructuring of the balance sheet:
By means of a substantial capital writedown to get rid of the balance sheet loss in
part, the par value of a Mikron registered share is to be reduced from CHF 50.– to
CHF –.10. With this, the prerequisites are met under which the Swiss investors
are willing to inject CHF 100 million in new capital by subscribing to new shares at
a price of CHF 8.65 per share. At the same time, current lenders are willing to
forego a substantial part of their claim and, additionally, grant a new, medium-
term credit line, provided they are given option rights on registered shares at CHF
–.10 per share.
Page 6 of 7
of negotiations. After careful analyses, the offer by a group of Swiss industrial
investors headed by Johann-Niklaus Schneider-Ammann, was considered best.
The pool of investors includes the Ammann Group Holding AG (Ammann family),
CIMA (Corporate Investment Management Affentranger AG, Mr. Anton
Affentranger), Mr. Rudolf Maag, an employee benefit foundation of
Maschinenfabrik Rieter Winterthur AG, as well as Tegula AG.
In order to provide the new majority shareholders with a clean start
unencumbered by the past, the present Board of Directors, the CEO and the CFO
plan to tender their resignation effective the date of the General Meeting.
The new Board of Directors will be proposed to the General Meeting as follows:
Mr. Affentranger (new), Prof. Dr. Forstmoser (sitting), Schneider-Ammann (sitting),
Spoerry (sitting), as well as one further, independent person. The new Board of
Directors intend to elect Johann-Niklaus Schneider-Ammann President. Messrs.
Schneider-Ammann and Affentranger will jointly take on the CEO’s responsibilities
temporarily. By doing this, they underline their readiness to contribute to the
situation’s solution to not only in form of a financial but also an operational
Mikron’s Board of Directors recommends approval to shareholders
Provided the shareholders approve, the present plan to restructure the balance
sheet ends a period of insecurity and guarantees Mikron’s survival. The Board of
Directors fully supports this solution and asks for its approval by the General
Meeting. The retiring CEO, Dr. Peter Wirth: “Board of Directors and Group
Management are greatly relieved to have found a solution for Mikron in time. It
Page 7 of 7
Well-positioned and ready for the future
The business reorganizations performed during the last two years and the
unchanged, strong position in the defined markets with global customers are a
good starting point for a renewed successful future for the Mikron Group. The
three divisions in the Production Equipment segment are suffering from the
currently very weak investment activities present in many markets. However, they
are leading in their niche markets and very well-positioned with their structures.
Major restructuring during the last two years marked the Components segment.
The sources of loss apparent today have been eliminated and the essential steps
towards a new orientation have been initiated.
The industrial investors have made it their goal to build up a lasting and
successful group of companies with a strong position in the targeted markets as
well as to regain an important position in the capital market. Healthy growth is
sought for which Mikron’s technical/technological basis offers a good point of
departure. Furthermore, the company is to be geared towards an explicit customer
With the commitment by the Swiss industrial investors, Mikron’s future is secured.
Thanks to their willingness to invest, a solution for broad debt relief could be
found with the banks. This enables Mikron to fully focus on its products and
For additional questions and interviews with management
Please contact the Mikron PR Department at 032 321 72 06.