Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 11 News List

UTAC eyeing US$1bn sale after restructuring: sources


UTAC Holdings Ltd, the Singapore-based chip testing firm backed by Affinity Equity Partners Ltd and TPG Capital LLP, is exploring options for a sale of its business after completing a bond restructuring, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company met potential advisers over the past few weeks to discuss options that could include an initial public offering or sale, the people said.

Its owners could seek a valuation of about US$1 billion, including debt from any exit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Global A&T Electronics Ltd, which controlled most of UTAC’s operations, filed for bankruptcy in the US in December last year with a plan to quickly turn itself around.

It said the debt load taken on from its buyout a decade ago had prevented the company from growing its business.

UTAC completed a capital restructuring in January, cutting its funded debt from about US$1.1 billion to US$665 million.

Affinity Equity Partners and TPG bought UTAC in a S$2.2 billion (US$1.67 billion at the current exchange rate) leveraged buyout in 2007.

UTAC has production facilities in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, China, Indonesia and Malaysia, according to its Web site.

UTAC’s private equity owners have made several previous attempts at exiting their investments in the company.

They had pursued a Singapore initial public offering in 2011, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

UTAC later filed for a US share sale in 2015, before withdrawing its registration the next year, citing unfavorable market conditions.

Representatives for UTAC, Affinity Managing Partner and TPG declined to comment.

UTAC in February said its net loss for last year narrowed to US$81.4 million, compared with US$95.1 million a year earlier.

CEO John Nelson in January said UTAC is in talks about acquisitions with at least five industry peers as it seeks to pick up factories in Southeast Asia.

Since the 2007 buyout, UTAC has bought three Panasonic Corp plants in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to expand into the automotive and industrial end markets, according to its Web site.

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