The US automotive supplier BorgWarner wants to take over the German battery systems manufacturer Akasol. The American company’s offer is likely to be successful since BorgWarner has apparently already secured the majority of shares.
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Akasol, which is based in the German state of Hessen, says that it has signed a Business Combination Agreement to enter into a strategic partnership with BorgWarner and the BorgWarner subsidiary Blitz F21-842. This partnership is supposed to give Akasol the opportunity to “lever BorgWarner’s unique global business platform, thus facilitating its ambitious growth strategy within the e-mobility field and further strengthening its market position for battery systems.” The German company says that under the strategic partnership, Akasol will continue to operate independently under the Akasol brand.
BorgWarner has made a voluntary takeover offer to the shareholders of Akasol AG. The American company is offering 120 euros per share certificate, which corresponds to a premium of 23.4 per cent on the average price of the past three months. The takeover of all shares would thus cost BorgWarner around 730 million euros. Since company founder and group CEO Sven Schulz, who holds around 47 percent of the shares, and other founders will sell their shares, the US group has already secured 59 per cent of the Akasol shares, thus exceeding the important mark of 50 per cent and one share.
Akasol CEO Sven Schulz said the board welcomed the partnership as it offered an “excellent strategic perspective”. “After more than 12 years of successful and independent business development as the main shareholder and CEO of Akasol, I am convinced that this is the right next step for a very promising future of our company, so together with the other founders, I have decided to offer my shares to BorgWarner at the offer price, as a clear signal of confidence in their attractive offer and strategic partnership,” Schulz said. Another reason to have confidence in the deal, says Schulz, is that “BorgWarner shares our vision of emission-free mobility.”
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Akasol is to continue independently as a brand in the future and Schulz will remain on board. “At the request of BorgWarner and based on my personal motivation, I will continue to lead Akasol as CEO together with my colleague Carsten Bovenschen, all founders and the management team,” Schulz said.
Borgwarner intends to make the offer documents available along with further information relating to the public takeover offer. A separate website has been set up for this purpose.
In 2019, Akasol doubled its sales, but in 2020 business fell short of expectations in the first two quarters due to the Corona pandemic. In the third quarter, the German battery systems manufacturer with particular focus on larger and commercial vehicles saw the expected upturn in business thanks to some catch-up effects.
At the beginning of October, Akasol also moved to its new headquarters in the southwest of Darmstadt. In addition to the headquarters with administration, technology and development centre, a production plant has also been built there. An identical plant is currently being built in the USA.
As an important system supplier, BorgWarner has expanded its portfolio in recent years in the direction of electrification. For example, the American company now supplies the drive for the Aiways U5. Just last week, BorgWarner announced a new electric motor for commercial vehicles and Akasol is also very active in the commercial vehicle sector. In 2020, BorgWarner also acquired the supplier Delphi Technologies in order to expand its know-how in electronics and power electronics.
Update 05 June 2021: The acquisition of Akasol by BorgWarner, announced in February, has now been completed. The US automotive supplier secures around 89 per cent of the shares in the German battery systems manufacturer, both companies announced.
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