Berlin, December 17, 2013 – First Sensor, the leading provider of high-quality, customer-specific sensor solutions, is securing and optimizing its financial position ahead of the implementation of the planned growth strategy. On December 17, 2013, the stock company successfully placed promissory note loans totaling €31.0 million. The promissory note loans replace the syndicated loan of around €29 million, which had been in place since 2011, in full.
For First Sensor AG, the negotiations with financing partners prioritized the greatest possible business freedom and greater term security. The conversion of the existing syndicated loan into promissory note loans offers the Group an array of advantages:
The promissory note loans are repaid at their expiry date. This means more liquid funds will be available for the planned growth strategy in the years to come. All collateral issued for the syndicated loan reverts to First Sensor. In future, therefore, the Executive Board will be able to make business decisions more quickly and flexibly depending on the situation.
Key financial ratios will be calculated annually in future. This means normal business fluctuations during the year will not be included in the calculation. In addition, the interest risk will be reduced significantly by the specified interest rates and the agreement of customary market collateral mechanisms for the variable-rate tranche.
Moreover, First Sensor intends to conclude additional overdraft facilities amounting to €6 million with its financing partners in order to secure further liquidity reserves that can be drawn at short notice.
The Executive Board of First Sensor AG also sees the successful agreement as a sign of the financing partners’ confidence in the First Sensor Group and its management. “Our strategy is clearly defined and we are bringing the organization exactly into line with it. Now we have financing that secures us the greatest possible business flexibility,” said CFO Joachim Wimmers on the recent successful negotiations, and Dr. Martin U. Schefter, CEO of First Sensor AG, added: “Now we have successfully cleared this important final hurdle, we can concentrate entirely on our growth in the next few years. Our target in 2014 is a significant increase in sales.”
To achieve this, on December 10, 2013, First Sensor AG’s Executive Board team aligned the corporate strategy to four fields of business and announced an adjustment of the organizational structure. In future, First Sensor AG will pursue a strategy with its sensor products and systems in the growing business fields Medical, Industry, Mobility, and Electronic Engineering & Manufacturing Services. Four business units will be created for this purpose, which will ensure consistent orientation to the market and customers. In addition, the company will systematically expand international sales in Europe, Asia, and North America. The aim is to belong to the group of market leaders in all fields of business within the next five years.
First Sensor AG
The Executive Board
Major conditions for the current promissory loan:
The placement involved German institutional investors signing promissory notes with terms of three years (€19.0 million) and five years (€12.0 million). The promissory note with a three-year term bears variable interest, which is calculated on the basis of the six-month EURIBOR rate with a margin. The interest on the fiveyear promissory note is fixed-rate. Debt-to-equity, equity, and interest-cover were defined as financial ratios. The payment of the promissory note value is subject to the provision of the funds by the investors and other customary market conditions and is to take place before the end of December 2013. The promissory note loans replace the syndicated loan of around €29 million, which had been in place since 2011, in full.
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