Stock exchange release
9 May 2008 09.00
Uponor Corporation has signed a contract to divest its UK and Irish
infrastructure business to 3i, Europe's leading mid-market private equity
company, and funds managed by 3i. The contract includes the sale of the share
capital of Uponor's subsidiary company, Uponor Ltd. in the UK and its
subsidiary Radius Plastics Ltd. in Northern Ireland. The companies have
manufacturing operations in Hilcote (nr. Alfreton) and in Aycliffe (county
Durham) as well as in Banbridge, Northern Ireland.
The infrastructure business in Cork in the Republic of Ireland is also included
in the deal. Uponor has earlier announced a separate sale of its factory
premises in Cork to a third party, the closing of which has now been postponed
The net sales of the divested businesses was EUR 169.1 million in 2007,
employing a staff of 470 persons. The enterprise value of the deal amounts to
GBP 100 million, giving Uponor a sales gain of nearly EUR 50 million. The deal
is subject to necessary permissions from the authorities. The divestment has no
impact on Uponor's guidance for 2008: the full-year guidance given in
connection with the publication of Q1 interim results remains valid with
reference to continuing business operations.
For Uponor, the deal means stepping out of the infrastructure business outside
of the Nordic countries.
Jyri Luomakoski, Uponor's Deputy CEO and responsible for the divested
- We have over the years invested extensively in the development of the gas and
water pipe business in the UK and Ireland, and reached a market leading
position in our segments in the municipal infrastructure sector.
- In our strategic planning, we analysed different development scenarios for
this business. In the longer-term, we did not regard it as a rational choice to
keep the business in Uponor, because its synergies with the Nordic
infrastructure business or the local housing solutions business were few. The
divested business mostly concentrates on serving gas and water utility
customers, hence lacking a firm bond to both our product and our geographical
- The divested business is in a good position with strong market demand. This
divestment reinforces our strategy to maintain a core business approach with
which our long-term financial targets are also aligned. Uponor believes that
the new owners will develop the business further.
After the completion of the deal, 80% of Uponor's global net sales is generated
by the housing solutions business, which Uponor runs in Europe and in North
America. In the Nordic countries, the housing solutions and infrastructure
businesses form a strong, mutually supportive full-service concept to builders.
In 2007, the infrastructure business represented 60% of net sales in the Nordic
President and CEO Jan Lång comments:
- In each of the Nordic countries, Uponor operates through a single subsidiary
company, offering its customers a comprehensive product and systems portfolio
through one distribution channel. The housing and infrastructure solutions
together have a strong product and service proposition to our municipal,
utility and builder customers alike. It is a platform, on which we will build
on also in the future in each of the Nordic countries.
- The emphasis of our Nordic infrastructure business is in water and sewer
systems, and also their development know-how is local.
Uponor acquired the Irish water pipe business as its first non-Nordic
acquisition in 1983. The gas pipe business became part of Uponor in 1991 and
the Radius telecommunications pipe business in 1998.
Uponor's remaining subsidiary company in the UK, Uponor Housing Solutions Ltd.
will continue to develop the housing solutions business in the UK and Ireland,
both countries representing strategic markets for Uponor. The company has
expanded its operations vigorously in recent years. At year-end, it employed a
staff of 110 persons.
Uponor has published relevant pro forma figures for 2007 and 2008 on its
website at www.uponor.com.
A webcast recording will be available at www.uponor.com/investors, under ‘IR
Uponor is a leading supplier of plumbing and heating systems for the
residential and commercial building markets across Europe and North America,
and a market leader in municipal infrastructure pipe systems in the Nordic
countries. Uponor's key applications include floor heating and plumbing
systems. The Group employs 4,250* persons globally. In 2007, Uponor's net sales
(pro forma*) totalled 1,050 million euros, returning an operating profit of
12.9*%. Uponor Corporation is listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange in Helsinki,
*) Does not include the Infrastructure business in the UK and Ireland.
For further information, please contact:
Jan Lång, President and CEO, at tel. +358 20 129 2822
Jyri Luomakoski, CFO and Deputy CEO, at tel. +358 40 515 4498
Vice President, Communications
+358 20 129 2852
OMX Nordic Exchange - Helsinki