Kiepe Electric now belongs to the investment company Heramba
Knorr-Bremse announced intentions to sell its subsidiary back in August 2023. Heramba was also mentioned as a buyer at the time. As the supplier has now announced, the takeover was finalised at the end of January. Specifically, the transaction includes the takeover of all of Kiepe Electric’s business activities and all employees. The purchase price is not known. Knorr-Bremse merely states that it will retain a 15 per cent stake in Kiepe Electric.
Kiepe Electric specialises in the electrification of urban road and rail transport. The Düsseldorf-based company develops, manufactures and implements power electronics products, hardware for electric drives and vehicle control systems as well as intelligent software for fleet management and energy management. Kiepe also specialises in charging solutions and is a provider of in-motion charging technology – this allows the buffer batteries of trolleybuses to be recharged with electricity from the overhead line while travelling, so that they can also cover short distances without an overhead line. In 2022, Kiepe introduced its patented High Power Charging platform, which enables fast charging of vehicles and energy management for battery buses.
Kiepe Electric has a total of 550 employees in six countries. When the plans to sell the company were announced in August, there were still 580 employees. The company’s turnover in 2022 was around 110 million euros.
In an earlier statement, Heramba justified the takeover with the creation of a “unique, world-leading company in the field of sustainable urban transport”, among other things. In addition, expansion in the urban night transport market is to be accelerated. The company will also be led by a “proven and experienced management team”.
Heramba GmbH, which was only founded in January 2023 and is based in Berlin and Atlanta (USA), is a specialist company that focuses on investing in companies with solutions for the decarbonisation of commercial transport. According to Knorr-Bremse, Heramba entered into a deal to merge with SPAC company Project Energy Reimagined Acquisition Corp (PERAC) in October 2023, thanks to which Heramba will be listed on the US stock exchange following the completion of the planned business combination.
Knorr-Bremse states that the sale will enable it to focus more effectively on its core competences and performance. The supplier is a major player in the market for braking systems and “other safety-critical systems for rail and commercial vehicles”. According to the company, it employs around 32,600 people at over 100 locations in more than 30 countries.
Dr Nicolas Lange, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division, comments as follows: “With its focus on electric vehicle equipment, Kiepe Electric has proved to be a dynamic, efficient business unit. Overall, however, only a small amount of synergy could be achieved between Kiepe Electric and the Rail Vehicle Systems division, which is why we made the decision to separate from Kiepe Electric.” This process has now been successfully and finally completed with the sale.
“The ongoing review of our business portfolio’s performance and its fit with our strategy is going successfully. With the sale of Kiepe Electric, we have now reached another important milestone, and Kiepe Electric will be able to focus clearly on its own strengths and business,” adds Frank Markus Weber, CFO of Knorr-Bremse AG.