Metall Zug Group: New business unit – acquisition of a majority holding in Haag-Streit Holding AG

Zug, December 22, 2017 – The Metall Zug Group has signed an agreement to acquire 70% of Haag-Streit Holding AG, based in Köniz, Switzerland. The transaction is expected to be consummated during the first quarter of 2018. Haag-Streit is a leading medtech company in the fields of ophthalmology (diagnostics & surgical microscopy), pulmonology and optics. In the 2016 financial year the company with its approximately 900 employees generated sales of about CHF 200 million. As the Metall Zug Group’s fourth business unit, Haag-Streit will continue to maintain an independent market presence with its own autonomous brand.


A media and investors’ conference (in German) will be held in the ZUGORAMA of V-ZUG AG (Baarerstrasse 124, 6301 Zug) at 10 a.m. on Friday December 22, 2017.


Haag-Streit develops, produces and distributes high-quality products and services for diagnosis and surgery, mainly in the fields of ophthalmology and surgical microscopy. The Diagnostics segment was the principal sales driver in 2016, with its product groups slit lamps, biometry, perimetry, tonometers, practice management software for clinics and opticians and practice equipment. The Surgical segment includes microscopes, floor and roof stands and accessories. The company’s other activities cover applications in the fields of pulmonology and measuring instruments.


Haag-Streit enjoys an outstanding reputation for the quality, reliability and innovative features of its products. It holds global Top Three market positions in its five most important product groups: slit lamps, biometry, perimetry, tonometers and microscopes.


The Haag-Streit Group generated operating profit (EBITDA) of some CHF 30 million in the 2016 financial year. Its EBITDA margin was nearly 16%.


Once the transaction has been completed, a minority stake of 30% of Haag-Streit will continue to be held by family shareholders who will be represented by Christoph Haag on the board of directors of Haag-Streit Holding AG.


The Haag-Streit takeover signifies an expansion of the Metall Zug Group’s previous strategic orientation. Its products and services will now include a fourth business unit. Haag-Streit meets all the criteria defined for this. As a family company with broad, profound industrial expertise and high-quality, technologically advanced products, Haag-Streit is a perfect cultural fit for the Metall Zug Group. The transaction broadens its geographical footprint and diversifies market, currency and political risks. Haag-Streit is among the leading companies in its markets, generating attractive margins and offering the Metall Zug Group interesting prospects for growth, both organic and by acquisition.


The parties involved have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Metall Zug is in a position to finance the purchase price itself from available liquid funds.


According to a pro-forma calculation based on 2016 figures, the combined company generated net revenues of some CHF 1 130 million (Metall Zug: CHF 939 million), EBIT of about CHF 120 million (Metall Zug: CHF 94 million) and an EBIT margin of around 11% (Metall Zug: 10%). Based on the pro-forma balance sheet as of December 31, 2016, net liquidity is about CHF 250 million and shareholders’ equity including non-controlling interest comes to slightly below CHF 700 million. The equity ratio will thus remain solid at around 65%.


Integration costs will be incurred in the coming years, and Haag-Streit will invest in growth initiatives and structures, in IT infrastructure and process adjustments, for example. More detailed information will be published when the 2017 results are announced.


Walter Inäbnit, Chairman and co-owner of the Haag-Streit Group, is convinced that “in Metall Zug we have found a strong long-term partner. We are a family company, and its continuing development in the long term is thus our central concern. Metall Zug has assured us that as well as maintaining the Haag-Streit brand and the Köniz site, it will also focus on developing the company, by acquisition as well as organically. Haag-Streit will be a new business unit for Metall Zug, as well as an important growth engine. And the Metall Zug Group, conversely, will offer Haag-Streit an ideal environment for generating further growth and consolidating its leading market positions. With its long-term orientation, Haag-Streit’s new principal shareholder will secure its sustainable development."


Heinz M. Buhofer, Chairman of the Metall Zug Group’s Board of Directors, is pleased that its ample liquid funds are now being put to industrial uses – and that the managements and majority shareholders of both groups share the same values. He thanks the families who owned Haag-Streit and especially Walter Inäbnit – who has chaired the board of directors for many years – for establishing and developing it as a gem of Swiss medtech industry. "The impressive performance of Mr. Inäbnit and his team deserves our respect. In recognition of his services, the board of directors of the company’s new majority shareholder has thus unanimously resolved to appoint Walter Inäbnit as honorary president of the Haag-Streit Group once the transaction has been completed."


Dr. Jürg Werner, CEO of the Metall Zug Group, says about the transaction: “Metall Zug consciously makes use of the diversity of its business units as a source of innovation, internal benchmarking and best practice, without diluting the clear focus of those units. The Metall Zug Group will ensure that the Haag-Streit Group’s independence is preserved. In the Haag-Streit family company, the Metall Zug Group is acquiring a profitable fourth pillar with a similar corporate culture that strengthens its opportunities for growth. At the same time, the Group retains full strategic flexibility with regard to organic growth and its strategic investment plans."



Further information on the acquisition of a majority stake in Haag-Streit Holding AG will be available at after the media and investors’ conference on December 22, 2017.


A media and investors’ conference (in German) will be held in the ZUGORAMA of V-ZUG AG (Baarerstrasse 124, 6301 Zug) at 10 a.m. on Friday December 22, 2017.