"The fact that the Danes are investing such a substantial sum in our shares bears witness to a strong faith in a shared future," says Thomas Ramm, chief executive of the Ignis group.
Norway's Ignis ASA is acquiring the substance of Denmark's NKT Integration A/S for DKK 35 million. This provides access to key personnel, a strong product portfolio and customer base, market-leading fibreoptic technology and one of the world's most advanced factories of its kind. With this acquisition, Ignis has taken a long step closer to the global market and secured products which complement the high-tech fibreoptic solutions which its Ignis Photonyx subsidiary is due to launch in March. Settlement of the purchase price is split into three tranches over two years, and will take the form of cash or new shares in Ignis up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the total transaction value.
The agreement also embraces a private placement towards parent company NKT Holding, whereby the latter will invest DKK 10 million in some 17 million Ignis shares. That will make it the third largest shareholder in the Norwegian company. NKT Holding will pay NOK 0.65 per share, which is about 15 per cent above the final quoted price for the Ignis share on the Oslo Stock Exchange on Friday 14 January.
"This acquisition gives our technology division an established customer base with a big potential," explains Thomas Ramm, chief executive of the Ignis group.
"In addition come several products as well as unique expertise in research, development and products. This clearly represents our most important agreement to date, and we are moving many strides close to world markets and a consequent positive cash flow for this division. The fact that the Danes are investing such a substantial sum in our shares bears witness to a strong faith in a shared future."
Ignis Photonyx is the Ignis group's technology division and manufacturers an optical chip used in components for fibreoptic broadband systems. The company's principal product is a variable optical attenuator (VOA) used to boost capacity utilisation in such networks. This VOA product will be introduced to the market during the present quarter, and the company signed sales contracts with two Chinese customers as early as last October. NKT Integration has developed products since the early 1990s which complement Ignis technology, and these are in production and on sale in an expanding international market. All told, the Danes have devoted more than NOK 300 million to developing their technology.
Before Christmas, NKT Holding – which manufacturers professional cleaning systems through its Nilfisk/Advance subsidiary – resolved to focus on its core business and put NKT Integration up for sale.
"This acquisition gives us access to a number of valuable resources,” says Mr Ramm. "We have now secured key personnel with unique knowledge and experience as well as leading-edge high-tech solutions, a developed and commercialised product and a world-class factory.
"NKT Integration and Ignis Photonyx operate today in the same market and towards the same customers. The new company will find it easier to reach more customers with a wider product range.
"Through this transaction, we have speeded up our market entry by one to two years. We've also opened opportunities for new products, not least by combining our technologies, which thereby makes it possible to position ourselves higher up the value chain."
Internet traffic is doubling on an annual basis, while the number of broadband subscribers is growing by 25 per cent per year on a world basis. Because services available on the net – text, voice and video – are expanding hugely, demand for higher broadband capacity is steadily increasing.Products from Ignis and NKT Integration expand both capacity and its utilisation in such networks.
"NKT Integration possesses a market leading and unique technology which makes it possible to produce products with an excellent price/performance ratio. Ignis Photonyx holds the same advantages through its VOA-product range. This gives us competitive power and makes us attractive for the major players", says Mr. Ramm.
Further information from:
Thomas Ramm, president and CEO, Ignis ASA, tel: +47 91 37 07 95, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Even Zimmer, president, Ignis Photonyx, tel: +47 95 22 12 34, e-mail: email@example.com
Ignis ASA, previously Wicom ASA, is a Norwegian technology company with two business areas – a system division (Ignis Smartnet) and a technology division (Ignis Photonyx). The first of these ranks as one of Norway's leading centres of expertise in IP, mobility, security and operation. The technology division has developed a unique polymer-based optical component with great potential, not least in fibreoptic telecommunications networks and display solutions. The company is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and has its head office at IT-Fornebu outside the Norwegian capital.