Merix, Viasystems Set To Merge

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) -- Viasystems Group Inc. is acquiring rival circuit-board maker Merix Corp. in an all stock deal that will make Viasystems a public company.

Merix shares tumbled 81 cents, or 29.4 percent, to $1.95 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

Viasystems said late Tuesday it will swap each share of Beaverton, Ore.-based Merix for 0.11 of newly issued Viasystems stock. Viasystems, which had 1,000 privately-held shares outstanding as of March, did not put a total value on the deal, which it expects to close by the end of the year.

St. Louis-based Viasystems said about 98 percent of those holding Merix's $70 million in convertible notes due in 2013 have agreed to exchange the debt for 1.4 million newly issued Viasystems shares, plus a cash payout of $35 million.

The deal will leave Viasystems shareholders with 80.5 percent of the combined company, while Merix stockholders will own 12.5 percent. The bond holders will have 7 percent.

The agreement creates a company with $840 million in annual revenue and an estimated 13,000 employees worldwide.

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