USI Intends to Acquire Asteelflash, Europe’s Second-Largest EMS Company, to Accelerate Its Global Expansion

(Shanghai and Paris) Universal Scientific Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “USI”) (SSE:601231), a leading electronics designer and manufacturer, formally announced its intention to enter into the Equity Acquisition Agreement with the shareholders of Asteelflash, the second largest EMS company in Europe. It intends to acquire 100% equity of Asteelflash for 450 million US dollars, of which 89.6% is paid in cash, 10.4% is paid by issuing shares of USI to privately owned company of Asteelflash’s founder (i.e. equity swap). The transaction is subject to approval by the relevant competent authorities.

Asteelflash, a privately owned company, will become an important subsidiary of USI after the closing of the transaction, with existing operations and management team left unchanged. Meanwhile, leveraging the global scale of operation and manufacturing, branding and service capabilities of USI, Asteelflash aims to capture more opportunities to increase large orders from major clients, and accelerate its business growth and expansion. Asteelflash and USI will create value through their complementary geographical footprint, target end market segments, customers, business models and technological capabilities.

In the context of heightened trade frictions on global markets, USI’s move to acquire
Asteelflash will enable it to provide a more diverse range of production bases to its clients, including cost competitive ones in North Africa (Tunisia), Eastern Europe (the Czech Republic and Poland) and North America (Mexico), and those in Europe (France, Germany and the UK) and North America (Silicon Valley, USA) allowing efficient communication and geographical facilitation with customers sharing the same language, culture, and time zones as well as original production and supply systems based in Asia, such as mainland China and Taiwan.

With revenues of around US$ 1 billion, Asteelflash serves more than 200 clients, and is dedicated to meeting their requirements for small batch and diversification. Following the acquisition, it will help to optimize USI’s current customer base and further balance client distribution and revenue composition. In the future, USI and Asteelflash are expected to meet the needs of a much wider range of clients, taking into account different requirements of customers at different stages of product development, such as quick-turn manufacturing and design feedbacks in the early stage of product development for small volume, or rigid requirements for mature products at the mass production stage in terms of production stability and lead time.

Since 2018, USI has been expanding its global presence and explicit development strategy of “modularization, diversification and globalization”. Apart from expanding production in Taiwan, Mexico, and Guangdong of China, USI has completed a series of strategic investments, including acquiring production base in Poland, establishing joint ventures with Qualcomm in Brazil and with Sugon in mainland China, investing in PHI Fund, and engaging in the privatization of Memtech, a listed company in Singapore. The acquisition of Asteelflash will significantly strengthen USI’s mix of manufacturing locations and capabilities across the globe, augment its globalized and highly-skilled workforce, secure its position in Europe and expand its customer base of EMS business.

“Under the trend of future industrial fragmentation, product diversification and service regionalization, the accelerated application of 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), AI, cutting-edge computing and other technologies entails flexible EMS manufacturers with global presence,” said Jeffrey Chen, Chairman of USI. “USI’s partnership with Asteelflash will make USI into a bigger platform with enhanced manufacturing knowhow, extended global reach and more resources for R&D in cutting edge technologies.
USI is a proven leader in the global EMS space, and together with Asteelflash and its team, we will continue to operate a world-class platform, better serve our customers, and expand into high-growth end markets, such as automotive, medical and industrial markets. This is another milestone in USI’s global development, and we will grow around the development strategy of ‘modularization, diversification and globalization’, to seek for strategic opportunities, to increase our competitive leadership and to become an influential leader in the sector!”

“USI stands on a solid basis in both expertise and experience in manufacturing, design and automation, which are of tremendous value for our further development and continued improvement. We will make the most of USI’s capabilities to capture opportunities from different segments. From design services to product system assemblies, Asteelflash looks forward to growing together with USI to provide global customers with top-notch services and world-class quality,” said Gilles Benhamou, CEO of Asteelflash.