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Valmet Automotive to acquire Karmann’s convertible roof business

Valmet Automotive will acquire Karmann’s convertible roof business in Germany and Poland. Valmet Automotive and the administrative receivers of Karmann’s roof business have signed an agreement regarding the convertible roof business. The parties have agreed not to disclose the price of the transaction.

The completion of the transaction is subject to the receiving of the necessary regulatory permits. Valmet Automotive estimates that the acquisition could be finalized and the business transferred to its ownership by the end of this year at the latest.

The acquisition complements Valmet Automotive’s service offering in line with the company’s strategy in convertible engineering and manufacturing services and particularly in component manufacturing. Completion of the acquisition would make the roof business Valmet Automotive’s fourth business line in addition to engineering, manufacturing and business services.

”This acquisition is so far the most significant step in our strategy to expand internationally and to become a leading supplier of a wide range of services for the automotive industry industry. The engineering and manufacturing of convertible roofs at Karmann represents the best of the industry, and its customers include BMW/MINI, Daimler, Renault and Bentley. Karmann’s roof knowhow complements Valmet Automotive’s convertible knowhow and substantially increases our capacity in engineering and in component manufacturing”, notes Ilpo Korhonen, President, Valmet Automotive. ”The manufacturing of convertibles in Europe is estimated to reach the pre-recession level of about half a million cars by 2012–2013. The roof systems of convertibles require special know-how, and they are often acquired from specialized suppliers”, Korhonen continues.

Karmann’s convertible roof business currently employs over 700 people in Osnabrück, Germany, and Zary, Poland; they will transfer to Valmet Automotive’s payroll. The net sales of the business to be acquired are estimated to be about EUR 180 million in 2010. As one of three leading suppliers of roof systems, Karmann has a market share of about 25 percent and an order backlog spanning several years.

Valmet Automotive is a provider of engineering, manufacturing and business services for the automotive industry. In 2009 the company’s net sales were EUR 56 million. It employs about 800 people. The company’s Head Office is in Uusikaupunki, Finland, and it has units in Frankfurt, Germany, and Gothenburg, Sweden. A new unit will be opened this year in the United States.

Porsche Cayman sports cars, electric Garia golf cars and THINK City urban cars are currently manufactured in Uusikaupunki. The plan is to start serial production of Fisker Karma hybrid cars in the first quarter of 2011. There are engineering projects under way for several customers.

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