Schneider Electric acquires GET Group PLC in the UK | Automation.com

Schneider Electric acquires GET Group PLC in the UK

Rueil Malmaison, France – September 11, 2006 – Schneider Electric (Euronext: SCHN) has announced through its subsidiary Schneider Electric UK Ltd, the terms of a proposal to acquire the issued and to be issued share capital of GET Group plc (LSE: GTG). This UK publicly quoted company offers a broad range of wiring devices and other electrical products for the Residential and Buildings markets. The acquisition will be effected by way of a Court sanctioned “Scheme of Arrangement” under section 425 of the UK Companies Act.

GET is a strong player in the UK wiring devices market providing a comprehensive range of products through its Connect division. In addition, its Smart division offers innovative CCTV security systems suitable for residential applications and a new range of intelligent lighting controls. In 2005 the company generated revenue of some £81 million, of which over 5% was outside of the UK.

With this acquisition, Schneider Electric will attain a strong position in the UK residential market and consolidate its No. 2 worldwide position in wiring devices. GET products will enable Schneider Electric to complete its wiring devices offer with a comprehensive and complementary range of products conforming to the specific requirements of the UK market and UK-influenced export territories such as the Middle East. Schneider Electric will also enlarge its market channels in the UK.

Christian Wiest, Executive Vice-President of Schneider Electric’s Europe Operating Division, commented: “Following the acquisitions of AEM SA, OVA and Merten since the beginning of the year, GET will allow Schneider Electric to further strengthen its European and worldwide position in wiring devices. This will provide us with strong opportunities for cross-selling and growth in the UK, in overseas markets using British Standards wiring devices and in broader export markets for their innovative new products in home control.”

Lance Joseph, Group Chief Executive of GET, added: “We will benefit from Schneider Electric's leadership position in low voltage in the UK to gain increased levels of specification for GET products especially in the commercial buildings sector. Schneider Electric’s global reach will give us important new channels to bring our innovative Smart offers to overseas markets and improve our penetration of export markets with our British standard wiring accessories offers.”

Under the terms of the proposal for the acquisition of GET, Schneider Electric will pay £2.60 in cash for each share of GET. The Directors of GET intend unanimously to recommend that GET shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition as they have irrevocably undertaken to do in respect of their own beneficial holdings which they control. Schneider Electric has also received irrevocable undertakings from the trustees of certain family trusts of the Directors of GET. In aggregate, these undertakings represent approximately 68.3% of the existing issued share capital of GET.

The acquisition is subject to the approval of GET shareholders, the authorisation of the UK courts and antitrust authorities and the transaction should be finalised in the fourth quarter of 2006.

About GET
Founded almost 50 years ago, GET Group plc is a leading supplier of wiring accessories and other electrical products to distributors and major retail customers. With almost 300 employees at 4 locations in the UK GET excels through its innovation in design, rapid introduction of new products and outstanding customer service.

About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is the world’s power and control specialist. Through its world-class brands, Merlin Gerin, Square D and Telemecanique, Schneider Electric anticipates and satisfies its customers’ requirements in the residential, building, industry and energy and infrastructure markets. With 92,000 employees and operations in 130 countries, Schneider Electric generated sales of €11.7 billion in 2005 through 13,000 distributor outlets.
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