Funeral Industry News

Hillenbrand on a Buying Spree, Acquires K-Tron International

January 11, 2010

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

Hillenbrand on a Buying Spree, Acquires K-Tron International

imageIt seems that Hillenbrand (parent company of Batesville Casket), is on a buying spree. With recent acquisitions of the intellectual property for the burial vault portion of Goria Corporation, Hillenbrand is now adding K- Tron International to the list. The two companies announced the acquisition this morning.

Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE: HI) and K-Tron International, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTII) have signed a definitive merger agreement providing for Hillenbrand’s acquisition of K-Tron for $150 per share in cash. This price represents a 32.1 percent premium over the closing price of K-Tron’s stock on January 8, 2010, and a 38.6 percent premium over the 20-day average closing stock price. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the merger agreement. The directors and officers of K-Tron holding approximately 10 percent of K-Tron’s outstanding common stock in the aggregate have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction. The transaction will have an aggregate purchase price of approximately $435 million. Adjusted for K-Tron debt and cash on hand at October 3, 2009, the estimated net purchase price of the deal is approximately $390 million. The final net purchase price will be calculated based upon the K-Tron balance sheet at the date of close.

Following the completion of the transaction, expected to occur at the end of March 2010, K-Tron will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hillenbrand. Kevin C. Bowen, who will be president of K-Tron’s Process Group, and Donald W. Melchiorre, who will be president of K-Tron’s Size Reduction Group, will continue to manage their respective businesses and report directly to Kenneth A. Camp, Hillenbrand’s president and chief executive officer. Lukas Guenthardt, senior vice president of K-Tron corporate development, will also report to Camp. Robert E. Wisniewski, chief financial officer of K-Tron, will report to Cynthia L. Lucchese, Hillenbrand’s chief financial officer. Edward B. Cloues II, K-Tron’s chairman and chief executive officer, will be appointed to the Hillenbrand board when the merger is completed. K-Tron’s headquarters will remain in Pitman, New Jersey.

“We are delighted that K-Tron will be joining the Hillenbrand family of companies,” said Camp. “Although K-Tron’s products differ from ours, we are both manufacturing companies that share similar processes and core operational values. Like our Batesville Casket business, the K-Tron operating companies are leaders in their industries and have highly effective executive management teams. K-Tron has a strong track record of delivering superior financial performance and creating significant shareholder value.”

“Hillenbrand and Batesville Casket represent a long tradition of manufacturing and distribution excellence, and K-Tron’s board and management team are excited to combine our own high-performing people, products and services with Hillenbrand’s,” said Cloues. “We’re looking forward to taking advantage of Hillenbrand’s lean business strengths in planning, processes and talent development to help create even more opportunities for growth and financial success.”

Financing and Structure

Under the terms of the definitive merger agreement, a subsidiary of Hillenbrand will merge with and into K-Tron, with the shareholders of K-Tron receiving $150 per share in cash for their common stock. The closing of the merger is subject to customary terms and conditions, including shareholder approval and the expiration or termination of the waiting period required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Hillenbrand expects to use cash on hand and proceeds from debt financing to fund the acquisition. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Hillenbrand’s earnings per share in 2010, net of acquisition costs.

P&M Corporate Finance LLC is serving as financial advisor to Hillenbrand, and Goldman, Sachs & Co. is serving as financial advisor to K-Tron. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Baker & Daniels LLP are serving as legal advisors to Hillenbrand, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is serving as legal advisor to K-Tron.

Conference Call and Webcast

Hillenbrand will sponsor a conference call and webcast for the investing public at 11 a.m. ET Monday, January 11, 2010. During the event, management will discuss the acquisition of K-Tron. The webcast will be available at and will be archived on the company’s Web site through January 11, 2011, for those unable to listen to the live webcast.

Participants may listen to the conference call by dialing 1-877-741-4240 (1-719-325-4790 for international callers). A replay of the call will be available through midnight Tuesday, January 26, 2010, at 1-888-203-1112 (1-719-457-0820 for international callers). Please use the confirmation code 4622656.

About K-Tron International, Inc.

K-Tron ( is a recognized leader in the design, production, marketing and servicing of material handling equipment and systems. The company serves many different industrial markets through two separate business lines. The Process Group focuses primarily on feeding and pneumatic conveying equipment, doing business under two main brands: K-Tron Feeders and K-Tron Premier. The Size Reduction Group concentrates on size reduction equipment, conveying systems and screening equipment, operating under three brands: Pennsylvania Crusher, Gundlach and Jeffrey Rader.

Some Highlights:

– Hillenbrand expands and diversifies its business portfolio for long-term revenue and earnings growth.

– Batesville Casket and K-Tron will operate as separate business units.

– The purchase price of $150 per share of K-Tron’s common stock represents a 32% premium over K-Tron’s closing price January 8, 2010.

– The aggregate purchase price will be about $435 million. After adjustments for debt and other factors, the net price is expected to be closer to $390 million, the companies said.

Source: Hillenbrand, Inc.