UK-based printed circuit board maker Kode International has announced a recommended cash offer from US venture capitalist Cornerstone Equity Investments. The offer, valued at #14.2 million, was made through Cornerstones subsidiary CEIPCB and equates to 150p a share - an increase of more than 70 per cent on the closing Kode share price of 87.5p on Thursday 29. If the offer is accepted, Kode will become a subsidiary of Automata, a US PCB maker acquired by Cornerstone last year. Kode?s chief executive Stephen Day will join Automta?s board if the deal goes through. Kode, which employs 250 people, made pre-tax profits of #937,000 on sales of #18.3 in 1996 and is forecast to make profits of #1.6 million and earnings per share of 12p in 1997. Geoff Harvey, finance director at Kode, was optimistic about the deal and did not anticipate any job losses as a result. ?This deal will give us greater credibility and greater access to global customers,? he said. Harvey admitted that the Cornerstone deal was an isolated one and that no other companies had made offers on Kode. John Milks, President of Automata agreed that the deal would widen the distribution network of both companies and increase Automata?s European presence. He also stated that Kode would remain an independent entity and there would be no name changes involved in the deal. Kode has two subsidiaries: Kam circuits, which makes high-spec multi-layer boards in the UK, and Kamtronics, which supplies Europe with high volumes of boards from south-east Asia.
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