Hexagon Acquires xperion, Strengthens Position in Global Pressure Cylinder Market

Through its acquisition of xperion, Hexagon will be able to strengthen its product and technology portfolio for pressure cylinders and expand its global market presence.

Hexagon Composites ASA (HEX.OL), a global leader in composite pressure cylinders for gaseous alternative energy, has entered into an agreement with AVANCO GmbH to acquire its wholly owned subsidiary, xperion Energy & Environment, a market leader in Type 4 high pressure cylinders. The acquisition will enable Hexagon Composites to strengthen its global market presence and further broaden its product and technology portfolio.

Hexagon Composites operates some of the world's most advanced facilities for designing, testing and manufacturing all-composite cylinders for gas applications. By securing manufacturing capacity in Germany, Hexagon Composites is expanding its position in Europe considerably. The integrated group will now have modern and specialized production units in Germany, USA and Norway.

"This acquisition represents another significant step in our growth strategy," says Jon Erik Engeset, President & CEO of Hexagon Composites. "We are impressed with how xperion has developed a highly competent international organization. We are confident that the acquisition will increase our competitiveness, market penetration and shareholder value and is well-timed given the current industry conditions."

"Hexagon Composites is one of the leading players in the composite pressure cylinder market, and the transaction will give xperion and its employees a strong industrial owner," comments Holger Garbrecht, CEO of AVANCO Group. "This is a future-oriented step, and we are convinced that both organizations will complement each other, enabling an optimal position in terms of markets and products."

The environmental value proposition of CNG, biogas and hydrogen continues to stimulate demand in markets world-wide. The two companies are well positioned in the hydrogen value chain with recent orders received for car, bus and railroad applications. With this acquisition, Hexagon Composites has further strengthened its strong commitment to the alternative energy space.

The xperion group includes high-pressure composite cylinder operations for light-duty vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, transit buses and gas transportation solutions at its modern production plants in Kassel, Germany and Ohio, USA. In 2015, the group recognized net sales of EUR 39 million and EBITDA of EUR 5.2 million on an adjusted basis. The two operations have 140 employees.

The acquisition of xperion's Ohio facility is pending and subject to an option clause allowing Hexagon Composites until the end of year to exercise.

The enterprise value of xperion is EUR 43.5 million (approx. NOK 390 million) on a cash and debt free basis. Additionally, an earn-out payment of up to EUR 11.5 million (approx. NOK 104 million) may become payable in 2019.