The question lingering on the minds of many in the industry is, Who will buy Universal?
I don’t have any inside information, but I’m going to make a semi-educated guess. And I’ll say this upfront: this is complete speculation on my part.
If I were to bet a nickel, it would be that another capital equipment manufacturer will acquire Universal and Hover-Davis, the feeder unit. If I were to bet another nickel, it would be on Hitachi or Sanyo — or even a JV between the two.
And what about Vitronics-Soltec, the profitable and perhaps the most attractive piece of the puzzle? My feeling, again totally a guess, is that Vitronics will be sold separately.
We should know soon. Dover indicated it expects after-tax profit of $325 million on the sale of the properties (which include a couple other business units) by the end of 2006.