A group of Italian institutional investors wants to buy Sandretto Metalmeccanica SpA, Italy's largest manufacturer of injection molding machines, and they could take Sandretto public. However, the Italian government must approve the deal. Competitive bids are still being accepted.
The Italian government has been the only stockholder of Sandretto since 1993. The government gained ownership after a restructuring by Sandretto's former parent, Fornara Group, under Italy's Legge Prodi laws, which allows the government to take control of major companies that get into financial trouble.
Although the Italian government has owned Sandretto, the company is run by an independent management team.
Sandretto, based in Turin, Italy, had 1995 sales of more than $130 million, a 50 percent increase from 1994. It makes Sandretto and Metalmeccanica brand injection presses. The company has turned a profit in the past three years.
In the United States, Sandretto is represented by Sandretto Plastics Machinery Inc. of Middleburg Heights, Ohio.
Sandretto announced that a final offer has been made by a group of several Italian institutional investment firms: Sofipa, Investori Associati, Comit, Banca Medio Credito, Arca Merchand and Arca Impresa. The Italian consortium's offer is valid until the end of August. Other bids also will be considered, Sandretto said.
Under the offer, the Italian consortium would form a new company to take ownership of Sandretto and its subsidiaries. Each of the institutional investors would own a specific percentage of shares.
Also, Interbanca, an Italian bank that is a major Sandretto creditor, still must define its role. An investment plan also must be approved.
The new owners may sell Sandretto stock on the Italian stock exchange, according to Sandretto.
Sandretto noted the government will not permit the sale of the company unless the private-sector investors have clearly committed to invest money and make the company grow.
Meanwhile, Sandretto an-nounced plans to introduce a new line of midrange machines at the NPE '97 trade show next year in Chicago.