Bühler solidifies position, as it repays first bond that financed major expansion

Swiss technology group Bühler has repaid the first tranche of a major bond valued at CHF 180 million, which the company used towards acquiring the Haas bakery equipment business, writes Neill Barston.

As the business revealed, its major financing move also enable the advancement of its chocolate processing equipment activities, and vitally significant Cubic research and development facilities at Uzwil, at a time of considerable market challenges.

In 2017, the company raised CHF 420 million through the issue of a dual-tranche Swiss franc denominated senior bond (CHF 180 million Tranche A, CHF 240 million Tranche B) to accelerate its growth plans and expand its investment and acquisition capabilities. It was the first time in its 160-year history that Bühler raised capital on the financial markets.

The repayment of the bond is an important milestone and was achieved while the company continued to fully execute its investment strategy, focusing on innovations, research and training centers, and new partnerships. Despite the uncertain and volatile environment faced in prior years, including the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Bühler was able to further strengthen its financial position and liquidity.

Bühler decided in 2017 to raise capital on the financial markets in the form of a CHF 420 million dual-tranche bond in order to benefit from unique market opportunities.

This enabled the company to finance its growth by investing into its global production and innovation network, as well as acquire the Austrian Haas Group, a world market leader in wafer-, biscuit-, and confectionery-production systems. The combined solution and product portfolio of Bühler and Haas has since proven to be a major competitive advantage.

“The proceeds from the bond allowed us to successfully accomplish the Haas acquisition, to continue the modernisation of our production sites, to build the CUBIC innovation campus in Uzwil, and to expand our global sales and services network,” says Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group.

“Thanks to our diligent liquidity management we were able to repay the first tranche of the bond and at the same time retain our full strategic flexibility for growth and innovation,” says Mark Macus, CFO of Bühler Group.

Bühler’s continued strong financial position enables the company to remain independent in the long term and to invest in new solutions and services for the benefit of its customers. The second tranche of the bond of CHF 240 million is due in December 2026. The bond is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

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