GrafTech Enters Into Definitive Transaction Agreement with an Affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management
By Business Wire News
By Business Wire News
GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE:GTI) (“GrafTech” or the “Company”) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger with an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (NYSE: BAM) (TSX: BAM.A) (Euronext: BAMA) (“Brookfield”) under which Brookfield will commence a tender offer to acquire up to all of the outstanding shares of GrafTech common stock. The definitive agreement was unanimously approved by GrafTech’s Board of Directors and follows the letter of intent announced by GrafTech on April 29, 2015. Holders of approximately 11% of the outstanding shares of GrafTech common stock, including GrafTech director Nathan Milikowsky, have agreed to support the transaction and tender their shares in the tender offer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Brookfield will commence a tender offer to purchase up to all of the outstanding shares of GrafTech common stock at a purchase price of $5.05 per share, representing a premium of 26% over the average closing price of the Company’s common shares during the 60 trading days ended April 28, 2015. The tender offer is not subject to any financing conditions.
The tender offer is intended to provide GrafTech stockholders the option to choose immediate liquidity at a premium as described above or to participate in GrafTech as a stockholder following the closing of the tender offer (subject to the merger provisions described below) with the benefit of Brookfield sponsorship going forward. A stockholder might choose to accept a combination of both cash and continued ownership of GrafTech shares.
The Company believes that Brookfield has an exceptional track record sponsoring public companies in difficult underlying market conditions, including significant knowledge and experience in steel, mining and metals, and other industrial sectors.
Pursuant to the agreement, the tender offer will commence no later than May 26, 2015 and will expire at 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on July 7, 2015, unless extended in accordance with the terms of the agreement and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Consummation of the tender offer is subject to certain conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals, the tender of a number of GrafTech shares that, together with any other shares then owned by Brookfield (including shares issuable upon conversion of the convertible preferred stock expected to be issued to Brookfield as previously announced), would represent at least 30% of the then outstanding shares plus shares issuable upon such conversion (the “minimum tender condition”), and other customary conditions. Assuming the convertible preferred stock is issued prior to the expiration of the tender offer, as of the date hereof, satisfaction of the minimum tender condition would require the tender of approximately 15% of the currently outstanding GrafTech shares.
If the number of GrafTech shares tendered, together with any other shares then owned by Brookfield (including shares issuable upon conversion of the convertible preferred stock expected to be issued to Brookfield as previously announced), would represent at least 80% of the then outstanding shares plus shares issuable upon such conversion (the “merger condition”), then the remaining outstanding GrafTech shares will be acquired in a merger transaction at the same price offered in the tender offer. Assuming the convertible preferred stock is issued prior to the expiration of the tender offer, as of the date hereof, satisfaction of the merger condition would require the tender of approximately 75% of the currently outstanding GrafTech shares.
Additional details regarding the tender offer are or will be made available in Brookfield’s and the Company’s respective filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is serving as financial advisor, and Withers LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP are serving as legal counsel, to GrafTech in connection with the transaction. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal counsel to Brookfield in connection with the transaction.
GrafTech International is a global company that has been redefining limits for more than 125 years. We offer innovative graphite material solutions for our customers in a wide range of industries and end markets, including steel manufacturing, advanced energy applications and latest generation electronics. GrafTech operates 18 principal manufacturing facilities on four continents and sells products in over 70 countries. Headquartered in Independence, Ohio, GrafTech employs approximately 2,400 people. For more information, call 216-676-2000 or visit www.GrafTech.com.
Notice to Investors
The tender offer described above has not yet commenced. This communication is not an offer to buy nor a solicitation of an offer to sell any shares of common stock of GrafTech. The solicitation and the offer to buy shares of common stock of GrafTech will be made pursuant to a tender offer statement on Schedule TO, including an offer to purchase, a letter of transmittal and other related materials that Brookfield intends to file with the SEC. In addition GrafTech intends to file with the SEC a Solicitation/Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 with respect to the tender offer. Stockholders will be able to obtain the tender offer statement on Schedule TO, the offer to purchase, the Solicitation/Recommendation Statement of GrafTech on Schedule 14D-9 and related materials with respect to the tender offer and, if applicable, the merger, free of charge at the website of the SEC at www.sec.gov, and from any information agent named in the tender offer materials. Stockholders may also obtain, at no charge, any such documents filed with or furnished to the SEC by GrafTech under the “Investors Relations” section of GrafTech’s website at www.graftech.com. STOCKHOLDERS ARE ADVISED TO READ THESE DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING ANY SOLICITATION/RECOMMENDATION STATEMENT OF GRAFTECH AND ANY AMENDMENTS THERETO, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE TENDER OFFER AND, IF APPLICABLE, THE MERGER THAT ARE FILED WITH THE SEC, CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY, PRIOR TO MAKING ANY DECISIONS WITH RESPECT TO WHETHER TO TENDER THEIR SHARES INTO ANY POTENTIAL TENDER OFFER BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ANY POTENTIAL TENDER OFFER.
This news release and related discussions may contain forward-looking statements about such matters as: the proposed tender offer and merger, the conditions to consummation thereof, the terms thereof and related matters; a proposed issuance of convertible preferred stock, the conditions to consummation of such potential issuance, the terms of any such potential issuance and stock, the use of proceeds and related matters; the effects of such proposed issuance, tender offer and merger under our equity award and benefit plans and agreements or our credit agreement, senior notes or senior subordinated notes; our outlook for 2015; future or targeted operational and financial performance; growth prospects and rates; the markets we serve; future or targeted profitability, cash flow, liquidity, sales, costs and expenses, tax rates, working capital, inventory levels, debt levels, capital expenditures, EBITDA, cost savings and business opportunities and positioning; strategic plans; cost, inventory and supply-chain management; rationalization and related activities; the impact of rationalization, product line changes, cost competitiveness and liquidity initiatives; expected or targeted changes in production capacity or levels, operating rates or efficiency in our operations or our competitors’ or customers’ operations; future prices and demand for our products; product quality; diversification, new products and product improvements and their impact on our business; the integration or impact of acquired businesses; investments, acquisitions, asset sales or divestitures that we may make in the future; possible financing or refinancing (including factoring and supply-chain financing) activities; our customers’ operations, order patterns and demand for their products; the impact of customer bankruptcies; our position in markets we serve; regional and global economic and industry market conditions, including our expectations concerning their impact on us and our customers and suppliers; conditions and changes in the global financial and credit markets; legal proceedings and antitrust investigations; our liquidity and capital resources, including our obligations under our senior subordinated notes that mature in November 2015 ; tax rates and the effects of jurisdictional mix; the impact of accounting changes; and currency exchange and interest rates and changes therein.
We have no duty to update these statements. Our expectations and targets are not predictions of actual performance and historically our performance has deviated, often significantly, from our expectations and targets. Actual future events, circumstances, performance and trends could differ materially, positively or negatively, due to various factors, including: failure to satisfy the conditions contained in the definitive agreements relating to the proposed issuance, tender offer and merger to consummation thereof, including due to material adverse changes affecting the Company or its prospects or failure to obtain regulatory approvals; litigation in relation to such transactions; events of default occurring or repurchase obligations arising under our credit agreement, senior notes or senior subordinated notes related to the proposed tender offer and merger, or otherwise (including by reason of cross default provisions thereunder); downgrades in the ratings of our senior notes and the requirement to repurchase the senior notes that could arise as a result thereof; restrictions on the conduct of our business in the ordinary course due to provisions under such definitive agreements; failure to achieve cost savings, EBITDA or other estimates; actual outcome of uncertainties associated with assumptions and estimates used when applying critical accounting policies and preparing financial statements; failure to successfully develop and commercialize new or improved products; adverse changes in cost, inventory or supply-chain management; limitations or delays on capital expenditures; business interruptions, including those caused by weather, natural disaster or other causes; delays or changes in, or non-consummation of, proposed or planned asset sales, divestitures, investments or acquisitions; failure to successfully integrate or achieve expected synergies, performance or returns expected from any completed investments or acquisitions; inability to protect our intellectual property rights or infringement of intellectual property rights of others; changes in market prices of our securities; changes in our ability to obtain new or refinance existing financing on acceptable terms, or at all; adverse changes in labor relations; adverse developments in legal proceedings or antitrust or other investigations; non-realization of anticipated benefits from, or variances in the cost or timing of, organizational changes, rationalizations and restructurings; loss of market share or sales due to rationalization, product-line changes or pricing activities; negative developments relating to health, safety or environmental compliance, remediation or liabilities; downturns, production reductions or suspensions or other changes in steel, electronics and other markets we or our customers serve; customer or supplier bankruptcy or insolvency events; political unrest which adversely impacts us or our customers’ businesses; declines in demand; intensified competition and price or margin decreases; graphite-electrode and needle-coke manufacturing capacity increases; fluctuating market prices for our products, including adverse differences between actual graphite-electrode prices and spot or announced prices; consolidation of steel producers; mismatches between manufacturing capacity and demand; significant changes in our provision for income taxes and effective income-tax rate; changes in the availability or cost of key inputs, including petroleum-based coke or energy; changes in interest or currency-exchange rates; inflation or deflation; failure to satisfy conditions to government grants; continuing uncertainty over fiscal or monetary policies or conditions in the U.S., Europe, China or elsewhere; changes in fiscal and monetary policy; a protracted regional or global financial or economic crisis; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed in our SEC filings, as well as future decisions by us. This news release does not constitute an offer or solicitation as to any securities. References to street or analyst earnings estimates mean those published by First Call.
GrafTech International Ltd.
Director, Investor Relations
Kelly Taylor, 216-676-2000