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In Italy, Prima's board halts merger with Fidia.

The merger would have resulted in the second-largest group in Italy's higher-end machine-tool industry, with 2004 pro-forma sales of more than 135-million (around $165-million). But earlier this month the board of directors of laser producer Prima Industrie S.p.A. decided that the time is not right to absorb milling-machine and CNC producer Fidia S.p.A. Both publicly held firms are located in the Turin region.

Simply put, the market for Fidia's products--particularly its sales to Europe's printing-machine industry--put the deal on the back burner. Conditions for the merger had been set under an agreement reached at the beginning of the summer; then sales figures for Fidia's first half came in, and they were down 20% versus 2004 (www.fidia.com).

In official statements, both firms leave open the possibility that the merger could be restarted.

Both companies have more than 70% of their sales outside Italy. Prima (www.prima.industrie.com), whose brands include Convergent Laser and Laserdyne high-power cutting and welding systems, has more than 1800 laser systems installed in 40 countries. Established in 1977, the Prima Group, including an electronics subsidiary and factories in the U.S. and China, employs 450 workers. Fidia, which started as a controls company specializing in digitizing multiple-axis automotive-body designs and tire molds, has 5500 CNCs installed in 40 countries plus 700 high-end milling systems with acquired brands Cortini, Simav, and Sitra. It employs slightly over 300 workers worldwide.

Fidia S.p.A., San Mauro Torinese, Italy, 39-11-222-7111.
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Publication:Metalworking Insiders' Report
Date:Sep 27, 2005
Words:247
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