Framatome Connectors International of Versailles, France, has agreed to acquire Berg Electronics Corp. of Clayton, Mo., for about $1.85 billion, including assumed debts.
Both firms have significant plastic molding and metal-stamping operations in widespread plants, have grown substantially through acquisitions in recent years and rank among the world's largest electronic connector companies.
The definitive agreement, disclosed Aug. 27, calls for Framatome Connectors to make a cash tender offer soon for all of Berg's common stock. Berg's board recommended that stockholders accept the offer of $35 per share. The deal is contingent on regulatory clearances.
Framatome Connectors employs 8,500 people at 44 plants in Europe, the Americas and Pacific Rim and has annual sales of more than $1 billion. Eleven domestic facilities are located in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. The business was formed in 1989 as a subsidiary of Framatome SA.
Quentin Berg founded his electronics business in 1951 in Pennsylvania and sold the operation to DuPont Co. for about $25 million in 1974.
DuPont sold it in 1993 for $385 million to a group that included James N. Mills, now Berg chairman and chief executive officer, and Dallas investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Co., a 17.2 percent holder. The headquarters moved to Missouri at that time. Berg Electronics had profit of $32.2 million on 1997 sales of $785.2 million and operates 23 plants in 13 countries.
A particular contract boosted Berg's value.
Recently, Berg completed a $40 million expansion of an Etters, Pa., facility to make a new Meg-Array product line for a major computer industry supplier and to expand research and development. The miniature plastic and metal connectors are designed to link the next generation of microprocessors to the motherboard in notebook computers.
The company expects mobile computing to be Meg-Array's first application.