Winterthur, Switzerland - The board of Swiss group Rieter Holding AG will propose at its 2011 Annual General Meeting on 13 April 2011 that it splits Rieter Textile Systems and Rieter Automotive Systems into separate companies.
The proposal will set up two listed companies with independent ownership and management.
Rieter's automotive business makes a range of sound deadening acoustic components for the automotive sector, some using polyurethane materials. The textiles division supplies equipment for the production of short staple yarn.
Subject to approval by its AGM, Rieter Holding will change its corporate purpose and distribute the shares of its Automotive Systems division to shareholders in the form of a special dividend.
The new company will be called Autoneum Holding AG.
Autoneum will be listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange as of mid-May 2011. Hans-Peter Schwald is expected to be nominated as chairman of the board, Martin Hirzel as ceo and Urs Leinhäuser as cfo and deputy ceo.
Rieter's current textile systems division will continue to trade as an independent company under the name of Rieter (symbol RIEN).
According to Rieter, the proposed transaction is not expected to result in job losses.
Rieter said its two board members which are the largest shareholders of Rieter Holding, Peter Spuhler and Michael Pieper, support the transaction.
These two have each agreed to give Autoneum a subordinated loan of CHf 12.5 million ($14 million) and also will not sell their Autoneum shares for an agreed period (lock-up). They have also agreed to serve on the Autoneum board at least until the 2014 Annual General Meeting.