Germany’s Mahle GmbH has increased its holding in the Behr Group to approximately 51% with the acquisition of all shares in the BWK GmbH holding company (BWK). Furthermore, the group announced that an integration agreement has been concluded with the family shareholders, who hold the remaining shares, enabling the full integration of the thermal management business unit, which will trade as Mahle Behr, into the Mahle Group.
Mahle’s acquisition of the majority share in Behr, which was originally planned for early 2013, was delayed as a result of investigation proceedings against manufacturers of thermal systems for automobiles, including Behr, in connection with suspected restrictive business practices.
Prof Dr Heinz Junker, Chairman of the Management Board of the Mahle Group, stated, “We never gave up on our aim of acquiring the majority share in Behr. However, this was subject to the procedures being clarified and any implications being addressed. In the meantime, it was possible to assess the potential risks and we are pleased that we have now taken a decisive step forward with the majority acquisition and the conclusion of the integration agreement.”
“We will now devote all our energies to driving forward the integration preparations that are already in progress and implement them as quickly as possible following approval by the antitrust authorities, since the integration of Behr opens up considerable added potential for both companies. Our product portfolios complement each other excellently – particularly in the promising area of energy-efficient mobility and the associated efficiency technologies required. We intend to make sustained profitable sales in excess of €10 billion (USD $13 billion) in the coming years,” added Junker.
Horst Geidel, Chairman of the Behr Supervisory Board and family shareholder representative, stated “I am particularly pleased that the integration of Behr into the Mahle Group can now take place. This means that the period of uncertainty that has put a strain on many of our employees has now passed. The family shareholders will continue to hold participations in the company-initially with 49%-for a longer time period. The integration offers the family a high level of security in the larger group of companies. Moreover, the family will continue to participate in the positive development of the company.”
Relevant central divisions of both companies will be brought together not only in Stuttgart, but also in the companies’ other regional headquarters in North and South America as well as in Asia. In addition, there are plans to achieve cost and investment optimisations in growth regions thanks to new joint production plants. The total number of employees is approximately 65,000, of which around 17,000 are employed in Germany.
Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]