FRENCH FAURECIA ACQUIRES GERMAN CAR EQUIPMENT HELLA
by Ludwig Burger
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – French auto parts supplier Faurecia on Saturday agreed to acquire a majority stake in German lighting equipment supplier Hella, signing one of the biggest deals in the sector in the past three years In a press release confirming this announcement made earlier by the German group, Faurecia welcomes the “creation of the world’s seventh supplier to the automotive industry” by this agreement valued at 6.7 billion euros.
The agreement should be concluded in early 2022. Faurecia has reached an agreement with a pool of family shareholders on their 60% stake for 60 euros per share and will offer the same price for the outstanding shares, Hella announced.
People familiar with the matter had previously told Reuters that Plastic Omnium and Germany’s Mahle GmbH had submitted bids at around € 60 per share, valuing the target at around € 7 billion.
According to the statement, the combined group will have pro forma revenue of 23 billion euros in 2021, with a target of 33 billion by 2025.
Revenue synergies are expected between 300 million and 400 million euros in turnover by 2025, and cash optimizations are expected around 200 million euros per year on average between 2022 and 2025.
“The debt financing of the transaction is fully secured using a bridge loan from top tier banks. Faurecia’s current credit ratings are expected to be confirmed shortly by the three agencies,” perhaps read in the Faurecia press release.
HELLA FOUNDING FAMILY WILL HAVE A REPRESENTATIVE Hella said Faurecia has made long-term commitments on strategy, financing and corporate governance, as well as on employee interests. He also promised that the town of Lippstadt, where Hella’s headquarters is located, would remain a major site.
“The combination of our two companies is a unique opportunity to create a world leader in automotive technologies,” said Patrick Koller, CEO of Faurecia, quoted in the press release. German brake maker Knorr-Bremse dropped the tender last month. Hella’s founding family invited competing bids for its stake with help from investment bank Rothschild following an approach by private equity group Bain, sources told Reuters.
Hella said on Thursday she had finalized negotiations with interested buyers, adding that all were acceptable and protected the interests of the company.
Family shareholders will receive 3.4 billion euros in cash and nearly 600 million euros in Faurecia shares, valued on average over three months at 42.06 euros each.
Family shareholders explained in a statement that Hella had grown to a size that required outside skills beyond the founding family.
“The family will continue to monitor the future development of this leading European company as a shareholder and with a representative on the board of directors,” she said.
(French version Elizabeth Pineau, edited by Benoit Van Overstraeten)
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