* EMS Technologies seeks final bids around June 9-sources
* Remaining bidders all strategic, PE not involved-source
* Globecomm, Robertson, Sensis, IAP also for sale-sources
(Adds other satellite, aerospace assets up for sale)
By Soyoung Kim and Nadia Damouni
NEW YORK, May 25 EMS Technologies Inc ELMG.O,
a wireless communications products maker that put itself up for
sale under pressure from an activist investor, is seeking final
bids in two weeks, four people familiar with the matter said.
Several private equity and strategic bidders -- meaning
companies that operate in the same industry as the seller --
have shown interest in buying EMS, but bidding rounds have
whittled the group down to strategic buyers only, one of these
people with knowledge of the process said.
Final offers are due in the second week of June, around
June 9, all of the people said this week, asking not to be
identified because details of the auction are not public.
EMS hopes to reach a deal ahead of the company's annual
shareholder meeting, scheduled for June 30, a fifth source
familiar with the matter said.
EMS, with a market capitalization of around $370 million,
has drawn initial interest from companies that include Comtech
Telecommunications Corp (CMTL.O) and Honeywell International
Inc (HON.N), several people familiar with the matter have said.
It is unclear whether those companies remain interested.
Activist investor MMI Investments LP, which owns a 7.8
percent stake in EMS, has demanded that EMS speed up the sale
and in March nominated a slate of four directors to the board,
to be voted on at EMS' annual shareholder meeting.
An EMS spokeswoman declined to comment on the sale process.
Representatives of Honeywell declined to comment while Comtech
was not immediately available for comment.
Norcross, Georgia-based EMS, which said on April 19 it
would seek strategic alternatives after months of pressure by
MMI, said it has offered the New York-based hedge fund an
opportunity to be involved in the sale process alongside the
Telecommunications equipment maker Comtech, which recently
lost a major contract, is trying to use some of its $500
million in cash on takeovers and has been involved in a number
of auctions, people familiar with the industry said. But
Comtech has been reluctant to pay up for assets and lost out to
rivals in several auctions, they said.
While the size of EMS is relatively small, it has segments
catering to the aviation, defense, global tracking and
logistics markets, potentially making it a challenge for one
buyer to buy the entire company.
EMS's LXE division makes hand-held and wearable computers
for the logistics market -- which would not necessarily
attract would-be aerospace and defense buyers interested in the
EMS division that makes satellite aircraft communication
It was not immediately clear why private equity buyers are
no longer involved in the process.
Some sources said that buyout firms without a strategic
portfolio company -- and therefore no management team to begin
with -- have been lukewarm due to the weak track record of the
current EMS management. Private equity firms have also found it
difficult to strike deals as valuations have increased and
strategic bidders have become aggressive in pursuing deals.
Shares of EMS Technologies rose 2.2 percent to $24.54 on
ASSETS ON THE BLOCK
EMS Technologies is among a number of small to mid-cap
companies that have been put up for sale in the aerospace and
satellite industry in recent months.
Earlier in May, Integral Systems ISYS.O, which provides
controls for military ground systems and satellites, reached a
$225 million deal to sell itself to Kratos Defense & Security
Meanwhile, Globecomm Systems GCOM.O, which provides
hardware and software for satellite-based networks, has hired
JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) to run a sale process, people familiar
with the matter said. The logical group of buyers could include
Comtech and Harris Corp (HRS.N), they added. Globecomm has yet
to set the date for initial bids, one of the sources said.
Several private equity-owned aerospace and defense assets
have also gone on the auction block, according to people
familiar with the matter. Assets for sale include Robertson
Fuel Systems, which is owned by American Securities and is
working with Houlihan Lokey to find a buyer.
Sensis Corp, which provides surveillance and information
for the aviation and defense industries, is working with Moelis
on a sale, and Consolidated Precision Products Corp (CPP) has
retained Morgan Stanley and Lazard to run a sale process,
people familiar with the matter have said. [ID:nN28290500]
Meanwhile, Cerberus Capital Management [CBS.UL] is in the
advanced stages of selling IAP Worldwide, which provides
services for the U.S. and foreign governments overseas, and is
being advised by Citigroup (C.N), sources said. The process has
been limited to mostly strategic buyers, two people said.
Representatives for Sensis, Robertson Fuel Systems and IAP
could not be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim and Nadia Damouni; Editing by Gerald
E. McCormick and Steve Orlofsky)