Strategic investor acquires the automotive supplier Kiekert AG
The activities around the sale of the automotive supplier Kiekert AG from Heiligenhaus have come to a successful end. The current investors of Kiekert have achieved consensus after intense negotiations with the Chinese automotive supplier Lingyun to acquire the shares of Kiekert. The formalization of the contracts and the assessment by the Federal Trade Commission will be finalized in the coming months.
After a Debt-to-Equity-Swap in 2006, the current owners of Kiekert are a consortium consisting in part of BlueBay Asset Management, Silver Point Capital as well as the US Investor Morgan Stanley. Together with the new owners, a new management team was put in place in 2007.
In the subsequent years, Kiekert has consistently been restructured. The Company is very well prepared for the sale to a strategic investor from the automotive sector. Today, Kiekert is showing solid growth with continuous profitability.
In the area of manufacturing, the streamlining of the global production footprint, the flexibility improvements, and the expansion in Asia have lead to continuous contributions to operating income. A stringent product focus along with important investments made into research and development have insured a considerable increase in turnover to the worldwide leader, even during the crisis in 2009/2010. In 2011, Kiekert Group sold more than 41 million latch systems – the highest production volume in the history of the company. With a turnover of more than 500 million Euro, Kiekert was able to repeat the success of former years.
Through the acquisition of Kiekert a supplier company with a turnover of more than one billion Euro and massive global growth potential is emerging. The Management Board of Kiekert AG is in agreement that Lingyun is the right investor and that Kiekert will successfully formulate its future within the Lingyun Group of Companies. Kiekert will experience considerable latch system growth in the Asian region. At the same time, Kiekert plans to globalize the core products of Lingyun to Europe and the NAFTA region. Lingyun is a partner with sufficient capital who is both willing and able to support this growth growth. All of the conditions for a successful partnership are in place.
Hebei Lingyun Industrial Group Corporation Ltd.:
The Lingyun Group (Hebei Lingyun Industrial Group Corporation Ltd., Beijing) is a publicly-traded automotive supplier who develops, produces, and sells plastic and metal components (e.g. body trim, specialised tubes, door elements, drive shafts). Focusing on the Chinese domestic market the Lingyun Group, with around 10,000 employees and more than 40 locations, achieves sales of more than 700 million Euro in the automotive sector. The Lingyun Group is R&D supplier to the Chinese OEMs and also to most of the Joint Venture Companies of the international OEMs.
Kiekert AG, Heiligenhaus, today employs around 4,000 people worldwide. Kiekert operates production and R&D facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, the USA, Mexico and China. The Company, which was founded more than 150 years ago, is the market and technology leader for automotive side door latches inventor of the modern central locking system. As innovation driver and manufacturer of most of its own inventions, Kiekert has become an essential partner for the OEMs. Kiekert AG has to date registered more than 850 patents