Automotive industry: the French buy Hella – economy

This is one of the most important distinguishing characteristics of new cars: the architecture of light and its ever-increasing influence. Here the stripe shape in the tail light, there the silhouette of a hammer in the headlight. The North Rhine-Westphalian company Hella is one of the market leaders in this area. With all kinds of products for visible light and with radar systems, the automotive supplier achieved a turnover of 6.5 billion euros in the past financial year. But now the company with its 36,000 employees is losing its independence – and the majority owner is making a lot of money at the same time. The French automotive technology group Faurecia, previously a cooperation partner, endorses the automotive supplier. A company which promises to be both a “merger”.

As announced by the two companies, the French are taking over 60% of the shares in the M-Dax group for just under four billion euros from the former owner family, the Huecks. The family receives 3.4 billion euros in cash, the rest in Faurecia shares. The French group is also submitting an offer of 60 euros per share to all the other shareholders of the lighting specialist, which is a little below the stock price last Friday. Hella stock had risen significantly since late April after the Hueck family’s sales plans became known.

The French buyer stressed that Hella should play an important role in the future: “Lippstadt will be the global headquarters of three of the six business segments. Faurecia is approximately three times the size of Hella, achieved annual sales of 14.7 billion euros and 114,000 employees in 2020 and is one of the most important suppliers of the brands of the Stellantis automotive group (Peugeot , Citroën, Opel). The group wants to expand its portfolio through the acquisition – and reduce annual costs by more than 200 million euros. The French have said they will reach critical mass and take leadership positions in all areas of activity. The new company will be the seventh largest automotive supplier in the world (top 5 in Europe and top 10 in America and Asia). In the leading group of this industry are many German companies, such as Bosch, Conti and ZF.

The sale of the widespread 60% founding family package seemed necessary, as the joint deal made when the company went public in 2014 would soon expire. After that, it would have become more difficult to regroup the interests of the 60 or so owners. “Their corporate responsibility requires that the family hand over management and control early, safely and in an orderly manner,” said Jürgen Behrend, head of the family shareholder pool and former CEO of Hella. -same. Since 1923, the Hueck family has had a majority stake in the company, which was founded in 1899 and started with kerosene lamps and today also produces many blue light systems for government vehicles.

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