Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH, one of the world’s leading companies in materials handling and process technology, is increasing its stake in MDAX listed KUKA AG to just over 10 percent and acquires a further 9 percent, subject to antitrust approval. As result of the transaction, Grenzebach will be KUKA’s largest shareholder. In December 2008 Grenzebach had already acquired a 5.43 percent stake in KUKA. Grenzebach aims to further increase its holdings to 25.1 percent. However, there are no plans to acquire a stake of over 30 percent, the level from which a mandatory offer to all shareholders would be necessary. The transaction was financed mainly from Grenzebach’s existing own resources.
Long-term business partnership planned
Mutual growth potential with both KUKA’s market-leading systems and highly innovative robotics division
New combined sales potential in the order of triple digit euro millions
Building on a long-standing partnership
Through the acquisition Grenzebach aims to further develop its cooperation with KUKA AG, a strategically important business partner. The two companies have already been working together successfully for just under a decade. Grenzebach predominantly uses KUKA robots as components in its own systems. In addition, both companies have been cooperating on product development for a long time. It was through Grenzebach, for example, that KUKA first gained access to the glass industry. The partnership between the two companies is also facilitated by the close proximity of their respective head offices, located about half an hour’s drive from one another in Augsburg and nearby Hamlar.
Commitment to KUKA’s two existing business segments
“We are aiming for a long-term business partnership. Together with KUKA we intend to profit from the megatrend of automation and penetrate new markets. We have already been having positive discussions about this with the board of KUKA AG for quite some time,” explains Bernd Minning, Managing Director of Grenzebach. “We are committed to KUKA’s two existing business areas and envisage good opportunities for mutual growth. From our perspective the basis for this growth will lie in the market leadership of the systems sector and the innovative strength of the robotics sector. As an active investor, we are interested in constructive cooperation with the management of KUKA AG.”
The benefits of closer cooperation
The close cooperation between KUKA and Grenzebach in realising intelligent automation solutions opens up further collaboration potential – in addition to the use of robots in the glass and building materials industries – which will further enhance KUKA’s market position. Achievable in the short term is cooperation in the aviation and solar industries. Grenzebach anticipates that by developing the market together the companies could unlock a sales potential in the region of triple digit millions by 2012, from which both Grenzebach and KUKA would benefit. Grenzebach managing director Bernd Minning said: “Our involvement with KUKA is also good news for the other KUKA shareholders, as we are lending stability to the shareholder structure and are helping the company to become somewhat less dependent on the automotive sector. However, it is also good news for the workforce, for Bavaria as a place to do business and for the region of Bavarian Swabia, because we are committed to the existing locations of both companies. The purpose of our involvement is for us to grow together.”
About the Grenzebach Group of Companies
The Grenzebach Group specialises in materials handling and process technology and is a world leader in production equipment for float glass and plaster board. The company’s head office is Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH in Hamlar, about 40 km north of Augsburg. Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH was founded in 1960 by Rudolf Grenzebach and is a leading international equipment manufacturer. The Grenzebach Group has six production locations worldwide, three of which in Germany, and 11 sales and service offices. In 2008, the family-owned company with its global footprint achieved revenues of more than Euro 300 million. The company employs more than 1,500 employees around the globe.