SA - Atlantis Foundries sold by Daimler/Mercedes Benz South Africa

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German metal casting group Neue Halberg Guss has acquired engine block castings specialist Atlantis Foundries (the old Atlantis Diesel Engines) from automotive giant Daimler/ Mercedes Benz South Africa.

A letter sent out by Atlantis Foundries staff said the change of ownership was scheduled for May 1. Daimler/ Mercedes Benz South Africa took control of Atlantis Foundries in 1999, and achieved record production of 60 000 tons cast in 2012. Atlantis Foundries produces automotive castings for both the passenger and commercial vehicle industries. In addition, the company machines cylinder blocks and crankshafts for automotive applications.

The letter said the deal would result in the formation of one of the largest foundry networks for engine parts in the world. Atlantis Foundries interim MD Tobias Hobbach, who was appointed as a result of the departure of Felix Homburg, said the change of ownership was positive and represented an opportunity for growth in the company. An announcement about the new MD will be made in May 2015.

Atlantis Foundries staff have been guaranteed one year of employment, even though Halberg Guss recently entered into a seven-year agreement with Daimler/ Mercedes Benz South Africa to supply engine blocks to the German and US markets.

Neue Halberg Guss GmbH develops and produces cast iron cylinder blocks, crankshafts and rear axle casings for automobile and engine manufacturers in Europe. Its products/services include cylinder blocks for passenger vehicles and trucks, cylinder heads for trucks, crankshafts for passenger vehicles and power train units and other cast components. The company was founded in 1988 and is based in Saarbrücken, Germany.

As of May 2011, Halberg Guss GmbH has operated as a subsidiary of Neue Halberg Guss GmbH, a company formed by the Dutch HTP Group. HTP specialises in the acquisition and restructuring of companies and has among others the Bavarian caravan builder Knaus Tabbert and the automotive supplier Geiger and Reum under its wing.

Halberg Guss supplies leading car manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Daimler. The company maintains production sites in Saarbrücken and Leipzig, Germany and currently has a workforce of around 2,100 employees.

This is not the first time Halberg Guss has bought into South African foundry capacity. In 2007 the company bought foundry plants in Port Elizabeth and Brits from engineering and construction giant Murray & Roberts – a short-lived arrangement as the German company ran into financial problems. The company was renamed Autocast South Africa. Last year Standard Bank took control of the company.

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