Checkpoint Systems completes acquisition of Metro AG

March/April 2000 News

Checkpoint Systems recently announced that it had completed the acquisition of Meto AG, receiving 98,6% of outstanding shares in response to a cash tender offer. The company received clearance from the German regulatory authority on 7 December 1999. The acquisition is valued at approximately $265 million (R1,62 billion).

Checkpoint, a leading provider of integrated security solutions to retailers worldwide and a pioneer in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, combined with Meto, a global provider of bar code labelling systems, electronic article surveillance (EAS) and handheld labelling systems for customers across a wide variety of markets and industries, creates a global supply chain management provider. The combined entity will offer customers state-of-the-art security systems as well as a wide variety of product and services to automatically mark, identify and/or track an object as it passes along the value chain from manufacturing through to the final retail sale.

The acquisition more than doubles the company's estimated 2000 revenues to $750 million (R4,6 billion), with over 40% representing recurring revenues. The new company has 4500 employees and will operate in 27 countries worldwide, including South Africa.

As a result of the acquisition, Checkpoint has increased its worldwide electronic article surveillance (EAS) market share to 33% and its European share to 43%. Checkpoint provides source tagging leadership to the worldwide retail community with a volume of more than 800 million source tagged units. The company offers both radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic (EM) technologies, enabling it to dramatically enhance its US and European customer base.

"Checkpoint's market position and product offerings have been strengthened by our strategic acquisition of Meto which will be accretive to Checkpoint's 2000 earnings," said Kevin Dowd, President and Chief Executive Officer of Checkpoint Systems.

"In addition to our increased worldwide EAS market share, the acquisition of Meto provides a portal to the $10 billion (R61 billion) automatic identification market. This market represents the convergence of the security and tracking businesses which coincides with the increased need for asset management solutions by industry. With the addition of Meto, Checkpoint is uniquely positioned to provide bar code, EAS and RFID technologies to its customers.

"Moreover, we believe there are considerable consolidation opportunities within the larger, faster growing automatic identification industry and our strategy will focus on both internal and external growth prospects," he said.

Checkpoint SA (Checkpoint EAS and security solutions), Milestone Integrated Systems (Meto EAS Solutions) and Hi-Maur Labelling Systems (Meto Labelling Systems) will continue to market, distribute and support the product ranges of their traditional niches in the South African market.

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