On 24 May, Aalberts announced the acquisition of Dutch company Lamers High Tech Systems (Lamers), which will add circa € 90m in sales p.a. at margins close to group-average. Management did not disclose financial details except that the deal will be accretive to EPS. Our calculations suggest the usual EPS accretion and value creation as from day one. Consequently, we have raised our sales and earnings estimates, slightly offset by higher than expected stock dividends (70% vs. our estimate of 50%). This translates into an increase in our EPS estimates of 1% for 2011 and 4% for 2012 and beyond. In response, we have raised our TP to € 20 (from € 19) and we reiterate our Buy rating.
Finally a boost to Industrial Services:
In the past decade, growth at Industrial Services was lagging that of Flow Control because the nature of the business implies there are few large acquisition candidates. Hence, our surprise that management announced the acquisition of a company with sales of € 90m p.a. This makes Lamers by far the largest acquisition ever in Industrial Services, a title previously held by AHC Group, which in 2001 added € 55m to group sales. Lamers should add circa 18% to Industrial Services sales on an annualized basis, or close to 5% to group sales. We believe its margins are in the same league as Aalberts’ historical range of 10-12%. Funding costs should be around 4.0-4.5%, and Lamers’ tax rate should be around 25%.
More exposure to cyclical growth, more flexibility:
Lamers designs, develops, manufactures, assembles, tests and qualifies tailor-made systems for control and distribution of high purity gases and chemicals. As such, there are similarities - and potential synergies -with parts of Flow Control. End markets include LED, Solar, Semiconductor Equipment, Chemicals, Aerospace, Pharmaceuticals, Food, and Medical. An interesting angle to Lamers is that it buys and assembles third-party components into systems, so its model is much more asset-light than the existing business. In addition, roughly 50% of its workforce (300 FTEs) consists of flex-workers. This should warrant more resilient margins than the existing business because there is less risk with respect to utilization. There are no tax-losses, which we believe is additional proof that margins are resilient.