Daetwyler Acquires U.K.-Based Company, Defies a Potential Brexit

June 15, 2016

Swiss components supplier Daetwyler Holding AG said Tuesday that it agreed to acquire U.K.-based electronics distributor Premier Farnell PLC for $878 million.


Daetwyler agreed to pay 165 pence in cash for the stock that is 51% more than the U.K. company was worth at Monday’s close. Premier Farnell shares in London were recently up more than 50%. The deal combines two European suppliers with roots in the early 20th-century dawn of modern electronics. Premier Farnell is known for building and distributing the Raspberry Pi. The product is a cheap and tiny computer designed by Raspberry Pi Foundation, a British nonprofit trying to make computers more accessible. Those computers start at just $5. The deal marks a rare buyout of a U.K. company ahead of next week’s vote on whether the U.K. leaves the European Union.

Fabian Haecki, an analyst at Vontobel, said: “The acquisition is in line with Daetwyler’s strategy and strengthens significantly its position in high-service electronic components distribution.”

Daetwyler CEO Paul Haelg said on a webcast the uncertainty around Britain’s membership of the European Union added to the attractiveness of the deal because of its impact on the pound. Daetwyler could survive regardless of the outcome of the EU referendum, he said.

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