3M to Sell Faab Fabricauto

October 6, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 3M today announced that 3M France has received a binding offer from Hills Numberplates Limited to purchase 100 percent of the shares of Faab Fabricauto, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3M and part of 3M’s Traffic Safety and Security Division. Faab Fabricauto is a leading French manufacturer of license plates and signage solutions, with facilities in Bourg-en-Bresse and Mâcon.

Faab Fabricauto has a 50-year history in the vehicle identification solutions industry, with a focus in license-plate manufacturing. The company also provides serigraphy and number-printing services for automotive, graphic communications, signage and industrial sectors. Faab Fabricauto has annual sales of approximately $30 million.

“As a part of our portfolio management process, we intend to sell the Faab Fabricauto business and focus on our core businesses, including reflective traffic safety and vehicle identification solutions and public security identification and monitoring portfolio,” said John Riccardi, vice president and general manager, 3M Traffic Safety and Security Division.

3M invented reflective sheeting for use on vehicles and road signs and is a long-time supplier of printed, reflective license plate films. “Reflective sheeting remains an important component in 3M’s portfolio, and we continue our investments in advanced retroreflective technology to improve the performance, durability, and visibility of license plates around the world,” Riccardi said.

“Hills has a long-held desire for international growth within its numberplate division and the offer to purchase Faab Fabricauto makes this ambition a reality. Hills is excited by the chance to build on the strong foundations set by Faab Fabricauto and to continue the program of continuous development in both the French and UK marketplace,” said Richard Taffinder, managing director, Hills.

“Hills has a tradition of innovation and has been servicing the UK market since 1927, hence the opportunity to expand into France and work alongside 3M as our dedicated materials supplier is very attractive. Not only will it deliver a formidable platform for success but generate a combined output by Hills group in excess of 19 million plates per annum,” Taffinder continued.

The transaction is expected to be signed by 3M France and closed during the fourth quarter of 2015, subject to consultation requirements with the relevant French Works Councils. The approximately 150 employees of Faab Fabricauto are expected to transition with the business when the transaction closes.

3M expects the earnings impact from the transaction to be offset by additional portfolio management actions in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking information about 3M's financial results and estimates and business prospects that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. You can identify these statements by the use of words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "aim," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "will," "should," "could," "target," "forecast" and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance or business plans or prospects. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are the following: (1) worldwide economic and capital markets conditions and other factors beyond the Company's control, including natural and other disasters affecting the operations of the Company or its customers and suppliers; (2) the Company's credit ratings and its cost of capital; (3) competitive conditions and customer preferences; (4) foreign currency exchange rates and fluctuations in those rates; (5) the timing and market acceptance of new product offerings; (6) the availability and cost of purchased components, compounds, raw materials and energy (including oil and natural gas and their derivatives) due to shortages, increased demand or supply interruptions (including those caused by natural and other disasters and other events); (7) the impact of acquisitions, strategic alliances, divestitures, and other unusual events resulting from portfolio management actions and other evolving business strategies, and possible organizational restructuring; (8) generating fewer productivity improvements than estimated; (9) unanticipated problems or delays with the phased implementation of a global enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or security breaches and other disruptions to the Company's information technology infrastructure; and (10) legal proceedings, including significant developments that could occur in the legal and regulatory proceedings described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and its subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q (the “Reports”). Changes in such assumptions or factors could produce significantly different results. A further description of these factors is located in the Reports under "Cautionary Note Concerning Factors That May Affect Future Results" and "Risk Factors" in Part I, Items 1 and 1A (Annual Report) and in Part I, Item 2 and Part II, Item 1A (Quarterly Report). The information contained in this news release is as of the date indicated. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this news release as a result of new information or future events or developments.

About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

About Hills Numberplates
Incorporated in 1927, Hills Numberplates trades primarily as a manufacturer of number plate components, ready-made registration plates and the latest number plate manufacturing systems. It is the market leader in the UK with a growing portfolio of international trade and has consistently developed its capabilities to provide customers with high quality services and products while continuing to invest in the future.

Source: 3M

Media Contacts:


Donna Fleming Runyon, 651-736-7646


Hills Numberplates

Richard Taffinder, 44 (0) 121 623 8120


Investor Contacts:


Bruce Jermeland, 651-733-1807


Mike Kronebusch, 651-733-1141

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Categories: Press Releases