CAMBRIDGE, ON, Feb. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (TSX: ATA) ("ATS" or the "Company") announced that in a decision rendered today, the Commercial Court of Vienne (France) has authorized EDF Energies Nouvelles Reparties (EDF ENR), a subsidiary of the EDF group which is dedicated to renewable energies, to purchase Photowatt International SAS (PW) assets out of bankruptcy and continue its operations. According to EDF ENR's offer, the entire workforce of PW will be transferred to a newly established subsidiary of EDF ENR together with PW assets, or redeployed within the EDF group. From March 1, 2012, EDF ENR's subsidiary will be the new operator of PW's assets and ATS will no longer have solar business operations in France.
The confirmation of a new operator for the Photowatt France business along with the preservation of jobs is a major step in the French bankruptcy process and will conclude the recovery proceeding phase ("redressement judiciaire"). The court-appointed officers in charge of the matter will now proceed to finalize the bankruptcy proceedings of PW. While ATS will continue to monitor the proceedings, this ends ATS's operating support of PW.
ATS continues to advance opportunities related to its formal sale process to divest its Ontario-based solar operations. Management expects that, if completed, the proceeds from the divestiture will exceed the cash outflows related to the bankruptcy process in France.
ATS Automation provides innovative, custom designed, built and installed manufacturing solutions to many of the world's most successful companies. Founded in 1978, ATS uses its industry-leading knowledge and global capabilities to serve the sophisticated automation systems' needs of multinational customers in industries such as life sciences, computer/electronics, energy, transportation and consumer products. It also leverages its many years of experience and skills to fulfill the specialized automation product manufacturing requirements of customers. Through its Ontario solar business, ATS participates in the solar energy industry. ATS employs approximately 2,300 people at 20 manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA. Visit the Company's website at www.atsautomation.com.
Note to Readers: Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of ATS, or developments in ATS's business or in its industry, to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all disclosure regarding possible events, conditions or results of operations that is based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Forward-looking statements may also include, without limitation, any statement relating to future events, conditions or circumstances. ATS cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the PW bankruptcy process, efforts related to divestiture of the Ontario-based solar business, and management's expectation that proceeds from the divestiture will exceed the cash outflows related to the bankruptcy process in France. The risks and uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements are detailed from time to time in ATS's filings with Canadian provincial securities regulators. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions, and ATS does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change.
For further information:
Maria Perrella, Chief Financial Officer
Carl Galloway, Vice-President, Treasurer