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Edwards to float on LSE

Edwards, a manufacturer and provider of highly engineered vacuum technology products and abatement systems, is intending to apply for admission to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) and to trading on the Main Market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange Plc. The company, which was founded in 1919, plans to proceed with an initial public offering of its ordinary shares to institutional and professional investors in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Edwards believes that the proposed IPO is the natural next step in the group’s development and will enhance its profile with existing and potential customers, provide liquidity for its shareholders, and strengthen its ability to attract and retain the best talent. Edwards does not intend to issue any new Shares as part of the Offer.

Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Cazenove, Morgan Stanley and UBS are acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners with JP Morgan Cazenove and UBS acting as Joint Sponsors in respect of the Offer.

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Edwards, says: “This is a very exciting time for Edwards as we work towards a potential IPO and listing on the London Stock Exchange. The group has been transformed over the last four years, developing into a world class operation with leading positions in the key vacuum technology sectors of General Vacuum, Semiconductors and Emerging Technologies. We are a leading global supplier of vacuum products, abatement systems and services, a leader in technology and innovation and we’re extremely well positioned to benefit from the growth opportunities across a broad range of end-markets."

 Edwards’ products are a critical enabling technology of many high-precision manufacturing processes that require controlled, particle-free environments.  The group’s products are used across a number of diversified, technology-driven industries, including semiconductor, chemical, pharmaceutical, metallurgy, scientific instruments, solar photovoltaic (solar PV), LED and flat panel display (FPD). Edwards is very well-positioned to benefit from growth in diverse end-markets.

Edwards has also announced that Nick Rose and Keith Roberts will be joining the board of the company at IPO, as Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director respectively.

Rose will bring a wealth of experience to Edwards as Chairman. He has held a number of senior roles, including as Chief Financial Officer at Diageo plc for more than 10 years, until 2010. Nick is also currently a non-executive director of BAE Systems and BT.

Roberts, who will chair the Audit and Risk Committee, has been CFO of Petrofac Limited since March 2002, having previously worked as an investment banker with Standard Chartered Bank, County Bank, and Hawkpoint Partners.

Taylor says: "With the high calibre additions of Nick Rose and Keith Roberts to our Board of Directors and the strength of our management team and workforce, we are confident we have the commitment, skills and momentum to drive forward Edwards’ next phase of growth.”

The group has a diversified, blue chip and long-term customer base. Key customers include AUO, BHEL, Chimei Innolux, Elpida, Hitachi, LG Display, Samsung, TSMC, UMC and Waters. Some  59 per cent of the Group’s revenue derives from customers located in Asia, where the Group has been present for more than 30 years.

Edwards has over 3,000 employees worldwide, with world class manufacturing, systemisation and technology facilities in the UK, Asia and the Czech Republic located close to its key customers. In addition, the Group has a global service infrastructure in over 100 locations.

Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2010 of GBP641 million, while adjusted EBIT for the year ended December 31, 2010 was GBP130 million; a margin of 20 per cent.

 Edwards is owned by funds affiliated with CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC and Unitas Capital, directors and senior management.

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