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AMETEK ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC PLAN TO RESTRUCTURE AND REFINANCE; DIVIDEND IS REDUCED AND DECLARED

 PAOLI, Pa., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- AMETEK Inc. (NYSE: AME) today announced a plan for enhancing shareholder value. AMETEK's four-point plan will: (1) restructure certain businesses, (2) authorize repurchases of AMETEK common shares, (3) refinance existing debt and finance share repurchases with a combination of fixed rate debt financing and floating rate bank financing, and (4) reduce AMETEK's common dividend.
 Walter E. Blankley, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We intend to take the following actions which will reduce costs and streamline operations. First: There will be a fourth quarter charge of up to $40 million (after tax) primarily to restructure several businesses, including actions related to our inability to reach agreement with the union at U.S. Gauge (Sellersville, Pa.) to achieve wage and work rule changes necessary to make that operation competitive. The charge also includes provisions for the writedown of assets, refinancing our existing debt, and other charges to operating income.
 "Second: The board has authorized the repurchase of up to $150 million of AMETEK common shares, which currently represents about 25 percent of its shares, through open market purchases and/or a Dutch auction tender offer.
 "Third: We intend to finance the repayment of AMETEK's existing debt of $188 million and the share repurchases with a planned offering of debt securities early in 1994, and a new bank financing agreement. The company has received a $400 million commitment from The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., to fund the entire plan if necessary.
 "Fourth: The board has voted to reduce AMETEK's common dividend from the current annual rate of 68 cents per share to an annual rate of 24 cents per share; accordingly, the board today declared a dividend of 6 cents per share to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 10, 1993, payable on December 24, 1993."
 Blankley said, "The reduction of the dividend was done with reluctance after 43 years of continuous increases in annual dividends, a record achieved by no other New York Stock Exchange manufacturing company. However, to accomplish the goal of increased per share value, the dividend reduction was a key part of the plan. This new dividend policy will bring our dividend in line with the dividend yield and payout ratio of public companies similar to AMETEK.
 "The lower dividend will enhance our already strong cash flow which will be used to gradually reduce the new bank debt and fund operational projects," Blankley continued. "We are increasing our focus on planned internal growth and enhanced profitability through cost reduction, business group synergies, new product development, global growth especially in Europe and the Pacific Rim, and improving the return on assets in certain underperforming businesses."
 Blankley concluded, "The plan adopted by the board today, including the share repurchase program, will leverage the expected improvement in our operating performance, and is designed to create more shareholder value than under the previous dividend policy."
 /delval/
 -0- 11/13/93
 /CONTACT: William F. Cleary or Chelle Carlson of AMETEK, 215-647-2121/
 (AME)


CO: AMETEK, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: AIR MAC SU: RCN DIV

LJ -- PH035 -- 5654 11/17/93 16:09 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993
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