The French automotive supplier Faurecia has acquired a 60 per cent stake in the German lighting and electronics specialist Hella. The two companies aim to expand their market positions together, particularly in key growth areas such as electromobility.
By combining their activities, Faurecia and Hella will become the seventh-largest automotive supplier worldwide. After taking over 60 per cent of the shares, the French company has announced that they will also take over the remaining shares at a price of 60.96 euros per share. Hella says that the closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected for the beginning of 2022. In electric mobility, Hella is contributing its portfolio in the areas of battery and steering electronics, while Faurecia is contributing hydrogen solutions and storage systems.
According to Rolf Breidenbach, Chairman of the Hella Management Board, the two companies “are a very good fit”. Breidenbach says that both partners place a high value on consequent customer orientation, operative excellence and technology leadership.
In addition to the synergies, however, the background to the transaction is that the family pool agreement of the previous owners will soon expire. Jürgen Behrend, head of the family shareholder pool at Hella says, “As family shareholders, we are fulfilling our corporate and entrepreneurial responsibility for Hella by turning the company Hella over to new owners early on before our family pool agreement expires. This move will further improve the strategic positioning of the company – for the benefit of Hells and its 36,000 employees.”
“Our two talented teams have been cooperating very efficiently. Since the end of 2018, they have demonstrated their combined capabilities. Together, we will have the critical edge to benefit from the strategic drivers that are transforming the automotive industry,” said Faurecia CEO Patrick Koller. “By combining the product portfolios and market reach, we will accelerate profitable growth, through innovation, with more electronic and software content and enhanced execution quality.”
Hella will now be integrated into the Faurecia Group with what the two companies say will be a high level of operational responsibility. The current works agreements and collective bargaining agreements for Hella employees will remain untouched for the time being. According to the agreement between Hella and Faurecia, the Hella headquarters in Lippstadt, Germany, will form “a central location in the joint group”.
Hella also brings along some big new friends. In June this year, the German automotive supplier formed Hella Evergrande Electronics with China’s Evergrande Group to jointly push the development and production of battery management systems, particularly for the Chinese market. Later the same month, Hella teamed up with Farsis, who will be using battery management systems (BMS) to be used in different types of electric vehicles such as cars, trucks or buses.
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