KUKA extends financing
KUKA Aktiengesellschaft has secured financing by extending and increasing its existing Syndicated Senior Facilities Agreement. The negotiations with the bank consortium were completed successfully.
Dr. Till Reuter will continue to serve KUKA as CEO until September 30, 2010. Dr. Reuter will focus on the company's long-term strategic direction and will support the bundling of futuristic technologies in "Advanced Robotics".
KUKA Aktiengesellschaft and a bank consortium (Commerzbank, UniCredit Bank, Bayerische Landesbank, LBBW, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and KfW) have reached consensus on extending and increasing the existing Syndicated Senior Facilities Agreement. According to the agreement, the banks will provide KUKA with credit lines totaling EUR 336 million until March 31, 2012. This amount consists of revolving cash lines in the amount EUR 146 million and credit lines for LCs of EUR 190 million. The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) joined the consortium as a new partner and will provide EUR 31 million in the cash line.
As part of the agreement with the banking consortium KUKA AG agreed to raise equity by at least EUR 23 million by the end of June 2010, either by the way of a capital increase or subordinated debt. The agreed credit lines will only become available in full in the future upon the raising of the afore-mentioned funds. KUKA AG will decide whether to raise more than EUR 23 million subject to market conditions. The major shareholder Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH has committed to provide up to EUR 15 million as part of the capital injection. Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH has also informed KUKA AG that in line with its previous communication it will not increase its shareholding in the company, or the shareholding attributable to it, to 30 percent or more in the course of a capital increase. UniCredit Bank and Commerzbank will advise KUKA should the funding take place via a capital increase.
The extension of the bank financing beyond August 31, 2011 is conditional upon KUKA AG refinancing the convertible bond by August 31, 2011 or sooner. The company further undertook not to distribute any dividends to its shareholders during the term of the financing agreement. The amended terms of the bank financing will lead to higher financing costs and an increased negative financial result in comparison to 2009.
In addition, KUKA AG's Supervisory Board has asked Dr. Till Reuter to continue in his position of acting CEO in accordance with section 105, para. 2 of the German Stock Corporation Act, until September 2010. Dr. Reuter advised the Supervisory Board that he would remain in the position until such date, in particular to further develop the company's long-term strategic direction. Accordingly, the staffing of the CEO-position from October 2010 onwards will be appointed later. The Executive Board consists of Dr. Till Reuter, Dr. Walter Bickel (COO) and Stephan Schulak (CFO).
Dr. Till Reuter commented as follows: "I am happy to comply with the Supervisory Board's request, particularly since there will be some continuity in the company as I continue my work. After successfully executing the capital increase in November 2009, and now securing the financing, the focus of my activities will be on managing the operations of the Group, setting the long-term strategic direction of the company and expanding the future technologies." One of the things that KUKA has planned in conjunction with further strategically developing the company is to bundle its futuristic robot-based automation technologies "Advanced Robotics" under the direction of the proven KUKA robotics expert Bernd Liepert. The future business focus will in particular be on the service, assembly and health care markets and rely especially on the lightweight robot with its safety and sensitivity attributes.
The employee representatives are pleased that Dr. Reuter will stay on as CEO. "We have achieved a lot in a very short time thanks to Till Reuter. We are convinced that maintaining continuity in this position will accelerate the implementation of the newly introduced processes, in particular the long-term strategic direction," said Siegfried Greulich, employee representative on the Supervisory Board, in commenting on the decision.
KUKA will release the final financial results for 2009 at the financial results press conference on March 16, 2010.