The two companies wishing to merge are not affected, as in some other mergers, but in very good shape: this is what the boss of the French automotive supplier Faurecia, Patrick Koller, stressed when he announced the takeover of the headlight specialist Hella. As if to confirm, the Lippstadt-based company has now drawn up its balance sheet for the past financial year, which at Hella always ends in May.
According to this, the company was able to increase its sales by 13% excluding the effects of exchange rates and the sale of small stores. The result is a profit of 360 million euros. After weeks of shutdown due to the corona pandemic, the auto industry has recovered since the summer of 2020. This has allowed Hella to sell more lighting and electronics systems. The Business Advantage: With products like this, you are pretty much independent of the upheaval taking place in the industry away from the internal combustion engine and towards the electric car.
By her own admission, Hella could have sold even more if semiconductors were not currently scarce in the world. “In recent months, our factories have always been in stop and go mode,” explains CFO Bernard Schäferbarthold. The company expects the bottleneck to continue into the next year. Nevertheless, Hella expects a further increase in sales of up to 6%.
The fact that the 120-year-old company will soon be in new hands is due to the diversification of the owner families Hueck and Röpke. They had listed Hella on the stock exchange, but kept 60 percent of the shares and pooled them together in a pool contract. It will last another three years. But in Lippstadt, it was feared that later on several family members would be allowed to sell their shares in an uncontrolled manner; that would probably put a lot of pressure on the course.
Instead, the family agreed to sell their shares to Faurecia. In return, it will receive 3.4 billion euros as well as a minority stake in the group. Faurecia will soon submit a public tender offer of 60 euros per share to all other Hella shareholders. In addition, Hella plans to distribute a dividend of 96 cents per share this year. As a result, the share price stabilized at just under 61 euros.
As soon as Faurecia acquires the majority of the shares, the group can draw up a joint balance sheet of the two companies. This will lead to the creation of the seventh largest automotive supplier in the world: a company of around 150,000 employees which, in addition to lights and sensors, also sells seats and propulsion technologies to automakers around the world. Under concession to Hella, three of the group’s six divisions would have their headquarters in Lippstadt.