The Freudenberg Group reached an agreement with its joint venture partner Trelleborg AB, Trelleborg, Sweden, to acquire its 50 percent shareholding in the joint venture company, Vibracoustic GmbH, Darmstadt. The contract is currently being negotiated. The transaction is still subject to approval by the relevant authorities. The acquisition is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of this year, effective retrospectively as of January 1, 2016. "Through the cooperation with Trelleborg's automotive anti-vibration business, Vibracoustic has become a global and market technology leader in vibration control components and modules in the automotive industry. As sole shareholder, we will have the additional flexibility to develop and support Vibracoustic strategically and financially," said Dr. Mohsen Sohi, Freudenberg Group CEO.
The current joint IPO preparation process has been stopped. As previously communicated, Freudenberg will remain a long-term anchor shareholder in Vibracoustic, while examining various strategic options to take the company forward in the best possible way.
"Vibracoustic and its customers will continue to benefit from the Freudenberg Group's long-term orientation and financial solidity. Vibracoustic has a unique portfolio on the market for passenger and commercial vehicles," states Frank Müller, Vibracoustic CEO.
The company was formed in July 2012 as a 50:50 joint venture between the Freudenberg Group and Trelleborg. Freudenberg brought its Business Group, Vibracoustic, to the joint venture; Trelleborg its automotive anti-vibration business.
Since then, Vibracoustic has been driving forward with the development of excellent product innovations, supporting global automakers as a strong partner and serving megatrends with its technically-advanced solutions - especially the growing demand for vehicles that boost comfort, and heighten performance and safety, at the same time as lowering fuel consumption and costs.
To achieve this, the company breaks new ground in its choice of materials, design optimization and integrated functions.
To develop its position as market leader, Vibracoustic has defined three strategic priorities, "best reach," "best cost" and "best quality." Implementation is driven by initiatives for accelerated growth, cost leadership and process excellence.
In the past few years, Vibracoustic has reported organic growth that has outpaced the respective market segments and, in 2015, the company generated sales of € 1,941.8 million (previous year: € 1,779.3 million) with 9,354 employees (previous year: 9,020 employees). Based on the 50 percent shareholding, sales attributable to Freudenberg amounted to € 970.9 million (previous year: € 889.6 million with 4,677 employees (previous year: 4,510 employees).