GER - GF Automotive to further expand in Asia and focus on its core activities in Europe

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GF Automotive, a Corporate Group of Georg Fischer, will further enlarge its existing plants in China and focus in Europe on its iron and aluminum die-casting foundries. The aluminum sand casting business with two foundries in Friedrichshafen and Garching, Germany, will be divested.

Georg Fischer expects for the foreseeable future continuing growth in the Asian automotive market and an overall subdued situation in Europe.

The expansion of GF Automotive in China will therefore continue at a substantial pace. In the last six years, sales in that country went up from 0 to 10 percent of the total turnover of the corporate group. The strong local demand will require an increase in the production capacity of the two existing iron and aluminum die-casting foundries of approximately 40 percent within the next two years.

In Europe, the focus of GF Automotive is on activities where a leading position has been or can be achieved. Therefore the corporate group has decided to mainly concentrate on its leading iron and aluminum die-casting foundries and divest the entire aluminum sand casting business, thus reducing its production footprint in Europe.

The two corresponding plants of Friedrichshafen and Garching will be divested to the company MWS through a share deal. The impact on the operating result (EBIT) of 2012 is insignificant, as the transaction will be disclosed as discontinued operations. The transaction will however lead to a non cash-charge of CHF 27 million on the net profit 2012, about half of which resulting from accumulated currency losses.

Yves Serra, CEO of Georg Fischer, states: "The integration of our aluminum sand casting activities into the business of MWS leads to a meaningful consolidation in this market sector and allows GF Automotive to focus on its core activities."

Dr. Christoph Senft, Co-Owner of MWS Industrieholding GmbH, comments: "With this acquisition we will become the technological leader as well as the largest supplier in aluminum sand casting in Europe. The existing management will stay in place to guarantee the continuity of the business. We are happy to have such a knowledgeable and skillful team on board."

The foundries of Friedrichshafen and Garching belong to Georg Fischer since 1999 and employ 250 and 180 persons respectively. They are both specialists in aluminum sand casting for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial applications. Their combined sales in 2011 was CHF 127 million. GF Automotive itself reached sales of CHF 1,664 million in 2011.

MWS Group with its headquarters in Kufstein-Schwoich is an Austrian, privately owned automotive supplier. The Group is specialized in aluminum castings. MWS was founded in 2004 and has three locations in Austria today, as well as a production site in Slovakia. With a total of 320 employees, MWS sales are around EUR 32 million in 2012. MWS has a longstanding supplier relationship with GF Automotive.

Sourced from Georg Fischer

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