The Mikron technology group in Biel is planning strategic acquisitions to strengthen its position in the plastics industry.
It announced on Tuesday it is to issue a public offer for all shares in the Axxicon group of the Netherlands, which has annual sales of SFr130 million ($71.43 million). The purchase price would be around SFr124 million.
In a statement, Mikron said that Axxicon was a leading supplier in the production of injection moulds, a rapidly growing key market in international plastics processing.
Mikron also said that it intended to acquire one of the United States largest mould makers with annual sales of SFr60 million. It said it had signed a letter of intent for a takeover in the coming months.
The company said it would form a new division, with the two acquisitions as its backbone, making the Mikron group the leading high-tech mould producer in the plastics industry.
The statement added that the acquisitions would bring about the desired offsetting of risks between Production Equipment and Components in the Mikron portfolio.
Mikron said it expected group sales this year of around SFr680 million. Assuming the successful acquisition of Axxicon, this would rise to some SFr950 million in the year 2001.
It added that profit after writing off goodwill should develop at least proportionally.
swissinfo with agencies