Global mobile phone component molder Perlos Corp. is set to be bought by Taiwanese electronics company Lite-On Technology Corp., creating a powerful integrated supplier to the handset market.
Lite-On, based in Taipei, is a leading world manufacturer of optoelectronic components, including LED, keypads and mobile phone camera modules. The company made a public tender offer for Vantaa, Finland-based Perlos worth around US$378 million.
The bid was accepted by Perlos' major shareholder, Oy G.W. Sohlberg AB, representing nearly 30 percent of the votes and share capital. It is being backed by the Perlos board.
Directors are recommending remaining shareholders accept the offer of 5.20 euros (US$7.09) per share, which they called ``highly attractive.''
``This is truly an exciting opportunity. The extensive technology portfolio of Lite-On, combined with Perlos' outstanding capabilities in handset mechanics, would immediately bring benefits to our customers,'' said Matti Virtanen, Perlos president and chief executive officer.
The parties agreed Perlos will continue to operate under its company name and brand and its management will retain their current positions. The change of ownership is not expected to have an immediate impact on jobs, the Finnish firm announced in a statement.
This year Lite-On Technology adopted a growth strategy aimed at providing customers with a wide range of components.
``This acquisition would equip Lite-On Tech with mechanical capabilities in addition to its electronic component power,'' said Warren Chen, CEO of Lite-On Core-Investment.
Perlos has plants across the world, including in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Taipei and Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Tokyo; Chennai, India; Manaus, Brazil; Reynosa, Mexico; Irving, Texas; Kom rom, Hungary; Lund, Sweden; and Vantaa.
It has grown in telecommunications with global customers like Nokia Oy.
During the past two years, Perlos has been restructuring its operations with a number of disposals and closures, mainly in Finland and the United States. Much of its molding activities have been shifted to Asia, in a bid to cut costs and adjust to changing market developments.
Perlos reported annual net sales of 673.6 million euros ($846 million) for 2006, with 44 percent of that business coming from Europe, 35 percent from Asia and 21 percent from North and South America. At the end of June 2007, the firm employed around 8,800.
Lite-On Technology, a publicly owned company founded in 1975, established Taiwan's first LED production operation. The firm has grown and expanded into other optoelectronics areas, such as power supply, liquid crystal display monitors and imaging products.
Its parent, Lite-On Group, comprises several fully and partly owned firms, including listed companies in Taiwan, Japan and the United States. Group sales totaled $7.2 billion last year, and it employs 55,000 worldwide.